Most people don’t feel safe when shopping online

Most consumers do not feel safe when shopping online and many are shying away from their favorite retailers as a result, according to the NCC Group.

According to the “Trust in the Internet’ survey, nearly eight out of 10 people (77%) do not feel very safe when shopping online and, with the holidays just a few weeks away, nearly a quarter reveal they are doing less online due to security concerns (23%).

The poll also found that 64 percent of consumers believe that they are likely to be a victim of a security breach within the next 12 months.

The survey, which questioned 10,000 people in the U.S. and U.K., also found that 59 percent of people are uncomfortable sharing sensitive financial and personal information when they shop and interact with organizations online.

“The convenience of online shopping is a significant pull for many consumers and spending around peak retail periods has increased year-on-year,” said Rob Cotton, CEO of NCC Group “However, demand on retailers to address security is reaching a critical point. The recent spate of high profile data breaches has clearly had an impact on online trust, and consumers are now placing responsibility squarely with retailers to tackle this issue. Some 84 percent of consumers believe companies should compensate customers financially for their loss if they experience a breach.”

Cotton added: “Businesses now need to step up and make securing their customers’ data a top priority. The consequences of not doing so threaten the integrity and performance of businesses and the Internet as a whole.”

The festive period in particular gives rise to increased phishing and cyber attacks, and the introduction of more than 1,400 new domains to the Internet — the biggest change to take place since its creation — is set to make this problem even worse.

Key statistics:

  • Only two-in-10 consumers admit they feel very secure while shopping online (21%); fewer than one-in-10 say they strongly agree that they are comfortable sharing financial details and completing financial transactions online (8%)
  • 62 percent of consumers say they are more concerned about online security now than they have ever been
  • Only eight percent of consumers say they strongly agree that they are comfortable sharing financial details and completing financial transactions online overall
  • One-in-three consumers expect to be the victim of a breach “any minute” (29%), and 64 percent believe they will be the victim of a breach within the next 12 months
  • 56 percent of consumers said that in order to complete online transactions, they often must share information that they would normally not feel comfortable sharing online
  • 68 percent of consumers say they would be more likely to do business with companies within an online community made up of secure/safe websites, where only verified brands operate.