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UK consumers exhibit sustained concern in online security

29 July 2010 - 16:15 by Graham Miller

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A study has found that people who shop online in the UK are perpetually worried about the security of their transactions and the privacy of their data, with little change in the number of people who are actually confident that they can safely make online purchases.

A survey conducted by KPMG found that nearly 90 per cent of British internet consumers believed that they had sufficient cause to fear for the safety of their personal information. while carrying out standard online activities such as shopping and banking. This figure correlates with the proportion who said that online security in general was a constant worry.

In the last two years many more people have begun to use their mobile phones for retail and financial management, but KPMG has found that this increase has not altered perceptions of security.

In a similar study carried out at the start of 2009, it was discovered that 95 per cent of UK consumers did not believe that they could operate securely online, while 89 per cent said that they did not trust their personal details to be kept safe.

KPMG's European technology leader Tudor Aw said that consumers were happy for their details to be used as part of safe shopping online and that it is the unregulated, cavalier exploitation of private data that is causing this ongoing concern and a lack of improvement in consumer confidence.

Mr Aw believes that online retailers can safely request and store private details as long as they can guarantee their customers that they will only be used in a beneficial manner, or one that is essential for the provision of their service. Safe shopping online is compromised as soon as information is used improperly or distributed to third parties without customer consent, according to Mr Aw.