The National Security Agency has left more than a black mark on the reputations of tech companies: It is now hurting them financially.
Americans are less likely to bank and shop online because of lingering doubts over the NSA's digital-snooping activities.
Almost half the more than 2,000 adult respondents (47%) to a recent Harris poll commissioned by security firm ESET said that they have changed their behavior and think more carefully about where they go, say and do online.
ESET researcher Stephen Cobb says the results underscore a long-term issue for tech companies, whose sales are at risk at home and abroad because of government spying. "This problem will linger throughout 2014," he says.
If consumers follow their fears and eschew some e-commerce, they are likely to avoid less-reputable web sites and hew to well-known and trusted brands such as Amazon.com, eBay and others, says Rene Bonvanie, chief marketing officer of cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks.