Consumers Shoo Careless Attitude while Shopping Online, Says Survey

A study by Guard Systems revealed that 91% of people participating in the survey were rather careless with their online account details. Many had created passwords that the computer could automatically recall, others had put their account information in writing or worse, still had saved it on the hard drive. Some respondents said that they set the same username and password on all pages of the same Website.

With Christmas holidays closing in, shoppers will crowd on the Net, providing cyber fraudsters a lot of opportunities to target attacks on carefree consumers using different types of malware, spoof sites, and phishing attempts to steal their private financial information.

Again, of the total respondents in the poll, 74% said that they found at least one phishing e-mail in their inboxes and 50% said that they were duped into divulging their password and other account information. A worse situation was where 33% respondents admitted they would make purchases at even unknown sites that offered low-priced products, a sure shot to land up in trouble.

As a large number of people shop online during the holidays, the danger of cyber fraudsters stealing the holiday fun is at peak. In 2006, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimated that over 674,000 shoppers had been victims of ID theft and resulting fraud that led to an estimated loss of $1.1 Billion. The number of Internet-related complaints was almost half of that.

Guard ID Systems' CEO, Jerry Thompson, said that during holidays, shoppers on the net are highly vulnerable to ID theft, as cyber criminals hunt out for the more careless shoppers who fail to secure their private information. EarthTimes published Thompson's statement on November 20, 2007. The above survey findings therefore suggest that consumers should urgently secure the credentials of their accounts and adopt safety measures to guard themselves against phishers' assaults.

EDS' Chief Security and Privacy Officer, Dave Morrow, also said that online shoppers should be more alert when transacting online. Amidst a large number of decent retailers, Morrow pointed there are a few who are not so good, therefore consumers should shop wisely and keep their personal details protected. CNNMoney reported this on November 19, 2007.

Related article: Consumer NZ Website Encounters Hack

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