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ERIC Number: ED527980
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-7426-4
Exploring the Identity-Theft Prevention Efforts of Consumers in the United States
Lewis, Jacquelyne L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Identity theft is quite expensive and devastating for victims; unfortunately, it is also a rapidly growing crime. Much of the prior research on identity theft has focused on legislative efforts that may prevent the crime. However, limited research exists on what consumers perceive as identity prevention and the measures they take to prevent identity theft. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to address this research gap. Specifically, this study was designed to explore how consumers conceptualize identity theft prevention, determine the characteristics of those who take measures to prevent identity theft, and investigate how the threat of identity theft affects consumer exchange. The sample for this study consisted of 70 undergraduate students from an online university located in the United States who were concerned with identity theft. Data were gathered using a written questionnaire with both close-ended (i.e., demographic) and open-ended questions distributed via the World Wide Web. Responses to open-ended items were content analyzed to determine patterns and themes related to the conceptualization and actions of identity theft prevention, as well as how the threat of identity theft influences consumer exchange. Through the analysis of data, 49 identity-theft prevention actions were identified. Controlling the release of personal information, shredding of documents, investigating business reputation, and awareness of shopping environment were frequently reported actions by consumers. Next, responses to close-ended/demographic items were explored to develop a description or profile of those taking action to prevent identity theft. Female students, 35-44-year-old students, and students studying education reported the highest mean prevention action per respondent. Moreover, respondents reported that the threat of identity theft had affected their shopping behavior and 26 changes to shopping behavior were identified. Twenty-five reasons for opting-out of transactions for fear of identity theft were also found. Website security practices, business reputation, and requesting too much information to complete the transaction were the most frequently given reasons for opting out. These results suggest that further research is needed to determine which identity-theft prevention measures are most effective and which segments of the population are most likely to prevent identity theft. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A