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Bank customers crave security

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Monday, August 22, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

When it comes to online banking and investing, security trumps speed and convenience for nearly 80 percent of consumers.

That's according to a recent Zogby Interactive survey in which 78 percent of 2,160 U.S. adults polled said they'd sacrifice some convenience and provide an extra level of authentication in addition to a password before accessing a bank or investment account if the process afforded greater security.

Other findings:

  • Sixty-six percent of consumers surveyed said they believed banks, rather than government, were most responsible for securing customers' financial assets.
  • Forty-two percent said they'd be likely or very likely to switch banks if their current banking institution was involved in a security breach.
  • Twenty-one percent said news reports about financial information security breaches had caused them to change the way they'd accessed bank or retirement accounts or interacted with financial institutions. Older consumers were nearly three times more likely than their younger counterparts to have changed their behavior.

The Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit organization in San Diego that educates the public about identity theft, has tracked 253 data breaches involving more than 12.7 million records of personal information so far this year. Banking, credit and financial companies accounted for only 8 percent of the breaches and 3 percent of the compromised records. Still, the total wasn't zero.

The Zogby survey was commissioned by Booz Allen Hamilton, a management and technology consulting services company in McLean, Va. According to a July 12 company statement, Booz Allen was itself the target of an illegal data breach last month in which company files connected to a government agency's learning management system were posted on the Internet without authorization.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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