UK consumers will ditch retailers if online security falters
02 November 2010 - 21:51 by Graham Miller
A new report has found that 10 per cent of UK consumers will leave their trusted online retailers or banking services, if they lose trust in the institution because of a security breach or data loss incident.
The Unisys Security Index found that many are concerned with their ability to carry out safe shopping online just as they are worried that their private financial details may be exposed if their online banking service is compromised.
Eighty-five per cent of UK consumers do not consider online fraud or identity theft to be a real risk for them, while conversely 75 per cent of respondents said that they would not start a relationship with a retailer or bank which had been proven to have inadequate security in the past.
Thirty-nine per cent said that while they are definitely aware of the threat to their privacy posed by using online services such as social networking and ecommerce, they regularly neglected their own privacy when using such services and limited the information they make available.
In general the level of concern with regard to internet security and safe shopping online has dropped since the last survey was carried out in April, although 85 per cent of UK consumers are still concerned that cybercriminals and fraudsters will be able to steal their payment card details.
A spokesperson for Unisys explained that the sustained worry exhibited by UK consumers when asked about online security is being addressed by the government, with greater investment in fighting cybercrime and terrorism being outlined in the National Security Strategy. Two million UK citizens suffer from ID theft annually, making it a significant problem for the public sector.
Economist,Benjamin Williamson, said that ecommerce firms and online bank operators would have to address trust issues and plug security holes, to avoid shedding users in the event of a scandal involving a breach.