Despite Security Concerns, Online Shopping Continues to be Popular Activity for Americans

As the holiday shopping season and Cyber Monday approaches, a growing majority of Americans (64%) report they have not made an online purchase from a specific website because of security concerns, according to a national poll released recently by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

When asked to explain why they did not make that purchase, 60% said it was because they were not sure if the site was secure, 51.4% were worried about providing information requested, and 48.4% felt a website requested more information than was necessary for the transaction. Respondents were given the option to pick more than one reason.

"The Internet is a fabulous, convenient resource for gift givers to get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping and bargain hunting, but people need to stay aware and alert about the risks," said NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser. "If there is any doubt about the security or authenticity of a website, hold off making the purchase."

Despite some security concerns, online shopping is a popular activity for Americans. The poll found that 69.3% research potential purchases over the Internet, 68% make purchases online, 62.4% make online payments, and 38% buy goods from online auction sites.

As a new area for security awareness, more Americans are shopping from their mobile phones, with those making online payments doubling to 8% from 2009. Those researching potential purchases from their phones also grew to 16%, up from 9% in 2009. A recent study published by NCSA and Norton by Symantec found that 87% of Americans felt safer going online with their PCs than with their phones, spotlighting, new opportunities for consumer and industry awareness with the growth of mobile devices.

"Businesses should take note: online customers are looking to make purchases where they see signs that a website is secure, have a clear understanding of how information collected about them is going to be used, and only information necessary to the transaction is being collected," Kaiser added. "Online shoppers are being smarter and safer online, and that's good for everyone."

[Source:  Poll conducted by Zogby International for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).  18 Nov. 2010.  Web.  19 Nov. 2010.]