Cybercrime and its affect on e-commerce

The past year saw an increase in the number of virus attacks, phishing attacks, spam messages and other cyber-crime. According to a recent article in CNN, this cyber crime poses a threat to ecommerce. This article suggests that the ubiquitous nature cyber-attacks and the constant coverage of breaches like the Heartland breach will keep consumers from shopping online.

I disagree with this theory and believe the only people who won't shop online because of these attacks are the people who aren't shopping on line anyway, thus ecommerce will not feel a significant impact from these threats. The trends seems to be moving towards doing more and more business online rather than in stores and banks.

Many banks offer incentives for “going paperless” and for setting up automatic bill payments. Reports of these attacks may hurt smaller online shops that have sites full of ads, but for the average consumer, they will continue to trust name-brand sites like or even ebay. Most educated consumers don't care about privacy issues, web hacks, or even user ID theft. They know their credit card companies protect them from fraudulent claims and are even willing to risk having their credit card information stolen on sites they haven't heard of before for the right price. If their information is stolen they will just call their credit card company and have the charges removed.

I am curious if my opinion was on track with others so we are conducting an informal poll on our Facebook fan page. We asked: Are you less likely to shop online because of reports of data breaches (like the Heartland breach)? Respond to the survey by visiting Astaro's Facebook fan page ( and leaving a comment, or leave a comment on this blog post.

We will post the results on our blog after the new year.


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