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Online fraud growth reiterates importance of security

31 July 2013 - 15:45 by Graham Miller

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Although the growth rate of the e-commerce market in the UK is still significant, it is apparently being outpaced by the expansion of cybercrime, according to a report from Martec.

Last year, sales made online were up by 16 per cent, but online fraud and other digital offences rose by 23 per cent over the same 12 month period.

One hundred of the UK's top retailers were interviewed as part of the study, with almost a quarter of respondents revealing that they had no idea how much their businesses had spent in an attempt to combat online fraud in 2012.

The larger retailers that were aware of how much was being spent, said that about 1.4 per cent of the revenue generated by e-commerce sales was being pumped into fighting cybercrime.

For smaller companies, this proportion sits at 0.3 per cent, suggesting that minor firms are potentially at greater risk of having their security solutions compromised.

Part of the problem is the fragmented approach to fraud prevention which many retailers take, according to the authors of the report. With several staff members assigned to working in this area, there can be a lack of communication, which leads to significant and unnecessary charges and fines in the event that fraud does occur.

For consumers, the quest for safe online shopping is an unending one and something that should be taken seriously if an appropriate degree of protection is to be achieved in the e-commerce market.

Criminals will continue to attempt to steal personal information and mess with your finances, but if you are prepared and aware of the risks that you face, buying products from the web does not need to be such a minefield. Trusted retailers with track records for protecting customers should always be your first port of call.