Web attacks leave users unfazed

NEW YORK: It appears that PR departments handling the recent attacks on sites like Yahoo! and Amazon have managed to keep the corporate reputation of their companies intact.

NEW YORK: It appears that PR departments handling the recent attacks on sites like Yahoo! and Amazon have managed to keep the corporate reputation of their companies intact.

NEW YORK: It appears that PR departments handling the recent

attacks on sites like Yahoo! and Amazon have managed to keep the

corporate reputation of their companies intact.



According to a telephone survey of 529 American consumers with Internet

access conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research for Stanton Crenshaw

Communications, 80% of those surveyed were aware of the attacks, but the

majority said that the problems would not impact their Internet use.



’We were surprised at the high level of awareness among consumers about

the hacker attacks, especially since other surveys have shown that 10%

don’t even know who the President is,’ said agency president Dorothy

Crenshaw.



’We were also surprised that no one seemed to care.’



Rather than attribute the survey results to customer loyalty, Crenshaw

suggested that consumers have grown tolerant of Internet outages and are

more sophisticated about the differences between internal and external

problems that can affect a site. And while she said that the way in

which PR pros handled the attacks helped maintain consumer confidence,

she added that responsible press coverage played a part as well.



Still, the attacks did have somewhat of a negative impact. For example,

8.9% of respondents expressed hesitancy to shop online following the

attacks, while 8.3% cited increased concerns about online stock trading

or financial management. Of those who expressed concern, 64% cited

security issues related to credit cards or personal information as the

reason they might be more likely to abandon the Internet in the wake of

the attacks.



Even in instances where customers don’t have to provide financial

information, some said they would be less likely to use the Internet for

accessing news (6%) or online gaming (5.9%).



Crenshaw said that she believes PR pros have already begun to reach out

to those few customers whose confidence was shaken.



’It’s happening at a very accelerated pace,’ she noted. ’The word is

getting out there that the Internet is safe. It’s not problem-free, but

it’s as secure as giving your credit card information to a

telemarketer.’



- See analysis, p21.



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