Security fears scaring consumers off the Web - survey

Security fears scaring consumers off the Web - survey

Security fears are stunting the growth of e-commerce in the UK, with refusenik consumers citing media scare stories and personal accounts of online credit card fraud as reasons for not shopping on the Web.

More than half the UK population still does not shop online, according to a survey of 1000 consumers undertaken by tech security outfit, CyberSource. Reasons range from simple preference for high street shopping to lack of a computer or Internet access. However, 41% of people who don't shop online also cite security fears as a cause for concern.

The study found that the most common source of information about the safety of online shopping is stories in the media. But consumers also rely on friends and family for advice. About a third of survey respondents say that they or someone they know has been a victim of online credit card fraud.

"With the abundance of media coverage about security breaches, it is not surprising that some shoppers are frightened off," says Simon Stokes, managing director of CyberSource. "The challenge to the industry is educating consumers to shop safely, to minimise their exposure to fraud."

Those who have sampled the online shopping experience are taking basic precautions, the survey found, with 68% signed up for the MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa programmes, 57% restricting their spending to credit cards, and 86% seeking out the secure padlock icon on a Website before proceeding with a purchase.

Comments: (2)

Ed Daniel
Ed Daniel - - Europe 13 February, 2009, 04:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Quite right they are - of course no one would want me to say that in public would they?

The issue is that things out there are truly broken - users have been expected to update and patch their systems regularly - it's hardly the same as getting the MOT sorted every year is it?  In fact each month you need a 'MOT' from Microsoft and that still doesn't guarantee you've got a rootkit installed that's letting you think all is fine and dandy while it snapshots you entering those funny passwords using the dropdown lists.

More upsetting is the fact that the congniscenti are telling us that SSL is broken:

It won't be easy to get the confidence of users when you tell them there is a 1/1000 chance they'll be shafted by a click hijack or other shenanigan - for me the only solution has been to go the Linux route to feel safe and secure when online.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 February, 2009, 18:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Consumer confidence in the safety of online transactions has taken a battering in recent months and the CyberSource Ltd statistics serve to highlight this further.

A similar survey conducted by XIRING at the end of last year found that online banking has a better image than e-commerce, with 74% of respondents believing that online shopping is less secure than online banking.

With the use of Home Chip and PIN strong authentication solutions continuing to be deployed successfully for securing online banking transactions, surely it is time the same technology is adopted for e-commerce transactions.