Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1231–1250 | Cite as

Formation of Consumers’ Perceived Information Security: Examining the Transfer of Trust in Online Retailers

  • Henner Mohr
  • Zhiping WalterEmail author


Set in the backdrop of ever escalating data breach incidents, this paper investigates the seeming paradox between elevated consumer information security concerns reported in surveys and lax consumer security behavior exhibited online. Results from our experiment show that when asked about their information security perceptions, consumers evaluate the issue of information security based on the elaboration likelihood model. As a result, they express concerns. However, when consumers are actually shopping online, they do not separately evaluate the issue of information security. Instead, they mostly transfer their trust in an online retailer to the trusting belief that their information will be secure. This is one of the main reasons why, counter to their elevated security concerns expressed in surveys, consumers engage in lax security practices when they conduct business online.


Perceived information security Online shopping Trust Trust transfer Elaboration likelihood model 



This paper is an extended version of a short paper presented at the 2018 International Conference on Information Systems, San Francisco, USA and published in its proceedings. We are grateful to the two anonymous reviewers, the AE, and the CE for their valuable comments and suggestions, which helped us improve this paper greatly.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

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