New consumer research results published this week reveal British attitudes to online security, and consumer confidence in online payment methods. Polling over 2,000 consumers, Affinion International gaged the nation’s attitude to online security, including what measures, if any, consumers take while browsing and shopping online. With the recent increase in online spending, the research revealed that Brits are less confident using mobile devices to pay for goods and services, with PayPal being the preferred method of choice.
The research found that nine out of ten are worried about personal details being available publicly online, with a similar number (92%) concerned about fraudsters illegally obtaining their financial information.
Despite high concerns about personal data security, 13% of Brits admit they do nothing whatsoever to protect their information while online, rising to 26% of 18-24 year olds. Almost half (42%) of consumers do not use any online protection software, leaving themselves vulnerable to online criminal threats including phishing, key logging and screen capture malware.
Consumer concerns are not without foundation, with a fifth of respondents having been a victim of identity theft. In 87% of cases, victims had money spent fraudulently in their name and whilst most managed to recoup losses from fraudulent spending, almost 9% said they lost money as a result with the average loss being £2,100. Just under half of identity theft victims found out by spotting something irregular on their bank statement or credit report with 38% saying they would have valued a service to help them resolve the incident.
With recent consumer attention on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the study reveals the country’s confidence in paying for goods and services online. Brits have the highest security fears when paying with a card or an account where information is stored on a mobile phone. Consumers also ranked paying with cards over the phone and internet and contactless cards as a high worry, with respondents preferring to put their trust in PayPal as the method scoring highest on safety.
The relative distrust in paying with credit or debit cards comes despite debit cards still being the most popular online payment method of choice. Over three quarters (76.3%) of consumers have paid for goods and services with a debit card online over the past year, but almost as many now use PayPal (75.4%) viewing it as more secure than using a chip and PIN card in person and online accounts such as iTunes and Amazon.
“With 96% of consumers using the internet daily and a quarter buying goods online at least once a week, Brits are worried about the security of their personal and financial information online” said Giles Desforges, Affinion International’s Senior Vice President Northern Europe.
“A concerning 42% of consumers are not using online protection software, leaving themselves open to the latest online criminal threats. It’s clear that consumers need to take greater steps to protect their increasing digital footprint. When consumers are short of time and lack knowledge on protection packages they may not take proactive action, despite high security concerns. There’s an opportunity for trusted brands to meet consumer need and add value to their customers by offering easy to use products that provide online protection across the multiple devices we use to access the internet daily”.