Consumers tend to avoid companies that have had security breaches of customer information, and they are concerned about being duped by bogus e-mails into giving up personal information to crooks, two recent surveys have found.
  According to a survey of 400 consumers by Tablus Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based company that provides to financial institutions and retailers products that locate, monitor and protect sensitive information from loss or misuse, 95% of respondents said there is "no excuse" for companies to expose confidential information of customers.
  Eighty-five percent of respondents said would prefer to do business with a company that never has had a security breach.
  Meanwhile, 82% said they would warn others not to do business with companies that have had a breach, and 82% said they felt that companies that have never experienced a data breach are "more trustworthy" than companies that have been breached.
  The survey comes in the wake of several major security breaches, including one at Framingham, Mass.-based retailer TJX Cos. Inc., which in January reported that thieves stole more than 45.6 million customer credit and debit card numbers.
  "The data show the very strong emotional response to instances where personal information is exposed," says David Puglia, Tablus vice president of marketing.
  That does not necessarily mean that consumers have a perfect score in protecting their own information, the results of another survey suggest.
  The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Cloudmark Inc., a San Francisco-based e-mail security company, found that nearly 89% of U.S. adults this year are at least as concerned about being victimized by a phishing attack as they were in a survey last year.
  Phishing attacks are scams that try to dupe consumers into providing personal information, such as bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers, via e-mails that appear to be sent by legitimate organizations, such as the individual's bank or credit card company.
  Despite those concerns, the survey of 2,215 adults ages 18 and older also found that 37% of respondents had opened e-mails from unknown senders in the past year, and 13% had clicked on links in those e-mails. Moreover, 6% said they had responded to phishing e-mails that claimed there was a problem with their account, they owed money or they were owed money.
  The problem is not likely to go away soon, according to the survey, since 45% of respondents said they are receiving more phishing e-mails than they did last year.
  (c) 2007 Cards&Payments and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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