As the online shopping season begins, consumers worry about cybercrime

A majority of U.S. consumers plan to do most of their holiday shopping online for the first time ever, yet a survey from F-Secure finds that most internet users remain concerned about their exposure to cybercrime.

shopping season cybercrime

Major consumer trends

The survey of shoppers highlighted 3 major trends among American consumers:

  • Bank account hacking and data breaches are the biggest worries on the web. 62% are either worried or extremely worried about a hacker taking over a bank account to steal money, while 65% are worried or extremely worried about losing personal data through a breach.
  • 81% of internet users think it’s at least somewhat likely that they will be a victim of cybercrime or identity theft. Only 64% think that it’s likely their spouse will suffer a similar fate while 95% of parents think that their children will become victims.
  • Consumers worry more about cybercrime or identity theft than being in a car accident that would seriously damage their car. A full 53% of respondents are worried or very worried about becoming a victim of identity theft and 51% are worried or very worried about being victimized by cybercrime, compared to 47% who expressed fears about having their car damaged in an accident.

Understanding risk

F-Secure Global Partner Product Advocate Fennel Aurora says that it makes sense that consumers have these fears yet remain undeterred from saving time and maximizing discounts by shopping online.

“Consumers see huge data breaches in the headlines, and understand that leaving their devices and accounts unsecured is a risk,” says Aurora, who works closely with telecommunication companies to help them address the security challenges facing their customers.

“It’s not their fault that they’re overwhelmed and may not be doing everything they can to secure themselves and their accounts.”

Identity protection

Aurora sympathizes with individuals trying to remember dozens of unique, strong passwords, saying it’s a clear challenge for users, and a challenge they need to tackle for their own protection.

“People need to make sure a data breach doesn’t threaten their entire online identity, and there’s a simple way to do that,” Aurora says.

“I suggest that you forget your passwords. Any password you can remember is too weak. Instead, get a password manager where you can store your strong, unique passwords and then focus on living your life.”

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