Cybercrime Still a Major Concern for Many Online Consumers

According to a survey commissioned by identity protection services firm Kindsight, more than four in five internet users have had their computer infected with a virus at some point in their lifetime, and nearly 30% had gotten a virus in the past three months.  As a result, many consumers are worried about basic forms of online security, including viruses and identity theft. 

Identity theft was also a major concern, with nearly two-​thirds of respondents worried that banking, credit card or other personal info could be stolen from their computers. Phishing, spambots and online fraud at retail locations were much lesser issues.

In general, more experienced web users have fewer security concerns-​like the millennials who are savvy enough online to know how to protect their privacy.

The Ponemon Institute recently found U.S. social media users were most worried about identity theft when banking online, followed by conducting ecommerce transactions and using location-​tracking programs. Nearly a quarter were also worried about identity theft while social networking.

In the context of social sites alone, however, users were more concerned about ads than identify theft, but stolen bank account or similar information could lead to serious credit problems and other consequences that would take time for consumers to resolve.

Marketers should address online consumers' concerns to prevent worried web users from avoiding online activities.

[Source:  "Cybercrime Still a Major Concern."  eMarketer. 1 Sept. 2010.  Web.  10 Sept. 2010.]