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Half of Brits no longer trust eBay

New survey shows the impact of eBay’s data breach on consumer attitude.

By Duncan Macrae

Half (49%) of adults have said they will be less inclined to use eBay in the future following a cyber attack on the trading website, a study has found.

The online research conducted by YouGov for Clearswift also found that 33% of eBay users have changed their passwords and more than half (52%) have not but intend to. Just over one in ten (12%) of eBay users have not changed their passwords, and don’t intend to.

Guy Bunker, SVP of products at Clearswift and spokesperson for the independent IT organisation, the Jericho Forum, said: "There is undoubtedly huge fallout from this cyber attack, for the millions of eBay customers and businesses which use its marketplace, as well as from a corporate perspective – and we are only in the early stages of it.

"What this YouGov research gives us is a flavour of the immediate consumer response to it all and it is important as it shows what lasting damage an incident such as this can have on a business, as it reveals that almost half of all adults surveyed will be less inclined to use eBay in the future.

Bunker noted that it was encouraging that people have acted quickly to change their passwords, but worrying that such a large number who still need to take action.

He said: "eBay needs to make this as simple and rigorous as possible so that individuals can exercise some control over the safety of their own personal information, otherwise those vulnerabilities will remain; this means they need to update its application. They are doing this anyway to ‘force’ people to change their password when they log in.

"Putting password creation ‘rules’ on the page and providing indicators for special characters alongside the simple red/green indicator for password strength, will ease the frustration usually associated with trying to find a new password which is secure and fits all the required criteria. eBay also needs to ensure that there is enough server/application capacity for the changes to occur, otherwise there will be increased annoyance from the users and at this point that would make its already tarnished reputation even worse."

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Overall, a cyber-incident of this magnitude will have far-reaching consequences for eBay, which for so long has been a stand-out symbol of the online world, according to Bunker. Questions naturally are already being asked.

He added: "As further details of this breach unfold, eBay must make it its priority to reassure customers that their critical and personal information is protected 100% of the time, to build back up consumer trust."

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