UK online shopping held back by security worries

The interesting conclusion is that most shoppers will limit their shopping buying to less than one third of their overall Christmas spending.

The issue of security is one that is of great importance, Martin Mackay, EMEA vice president of Verisign, told Infosecurity.

"We are finding that most businesses are aware of the need for security when working on the web, but it is consumers that really need to be educated on the issue", he said.

"We are working hard to make consumers understand that when they see the green bar in their web browser, this indicates that the site has extended validation (EV) SSL certificates in place", he said.

According to Verisign's research, 22% of Britons are holding back from shopping online this Christmas due to reservations over online security issues such as ID theft and fraud, while 14% said that they will not shop online because they do not trust e-commerce sites.

These percentages on security worries represent losses that retailers could easily stem by promoting their online security credentials, and through technologies such as EV-SSL certificates, Verisign said.

Despite the security concerns, Verisign's research showed that Britons are happier with online shopping than some of their European colleagues, as whilst UK consumers plan to spend 32 pence in every pound online, the French will spend 30 cents in every euro and the Germans will spend 28 cents online.

Interestingly, the Swedes will only spend 21 oere in every krona online, which Mackay noted as meaning that a sizeable number of potential online shoppers are missing out - and not just in Sweden.

"There is no reason why consumers should be put off from shopping online this season", he said.

"With some of the best deals available on the web, consumers should feel safe shopping online as long as they are aware of the security signs to look for - such as the VeriSign seal - on the web page", he added.

Delving into the UK research shows that 35-44-year-old age range is the most brazen, with 47% stating that nothing will hold them back from shopping online this Christmas.

CurIously, Infosecurity notes that the Scottish are the most fearful of buying online, with 30% worried about online identity theft and fraud, whilst the Northern Irish are least bothered by online fraud, with 17% concerned about being defrauded over the web compared with the UK national average of 22%.

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