Security Outfit Websense Inc. announced the results of its first European study of online Christmas shopping behaviour. The survey found that whilst 75% of online Christmas shoppers were not totally confident about being able to identify a secure Web site, only one in four considered keeping their credit card and online banking information safe and secure as their greatest concern.
In fact, the e-shoppers' biggest worry of all (39%) was whether their gifts would actually arrive on time. The Websense survey, conducted by Dynamic Markets surveyed a total of more than 1000 respondents from the three major shopping capitals of Europe - London, Paris and Milan.
A total of 36% of respondents across the region considered Internet bargain-hunting to be the overriding factor in deciding which Web site to make their online purchase. Of the e-shoppers surveyed, 35% admitted to not always checking for the security padlock, with almost one fifth (18%) of these being unaware of what to look for.
More women (80%) than men (70%) were not totally confident in spotting a secure Web site from an unsecured one. A further 17% were totally oblivious to current security threats, believing Christmas shopping online is safe and secure and that they would not worry about it. Interestingly, only 30% of those who shop freely trust their anti-virus software to protect their personal and banking details.
In fact, 83% of those surveyed used both their work PC as well as their home computer, with a third doing their shopping at work. The research also established that 54% of bargain hunters in the workplace had neglected to ask their IT department if their PC was protected.
"Online shopping at Christmas is a balancing act for consumers," said Mark Murtagh, EMEA Technical Director at Websense. "This is a time of year where people are so busy that they can overlook potential web security risks in the hunt for the perfect bargain. Traditionally, we see a jump in Web sites hosting malicious code in the weeks leading up to major events as cyber-criminals look to exploit the increased number of online shoppers that have their credit cards at the ready. We've seen a number of new and more sophisticated deceptions emerge throughout this year and users need to educate themselves to look out for potential security pitfalls."