Online Christmas Shopping: Naughty or Nice?

Surprisingly, in this always-connected day and age, people surveyed by Norton in Australia and New Zealand said they plan to do less than 40% of their Christmas shopping online.

Norton released results of their Online Shopping Survey just in time for the holidays, when online retailers offer sales to lure shoppers into buying presents for themselves and others. However, the survey results may indicate those promotions are not enough to encourage security-concerned shoppers to buy online.

While concerns about online shopping risks are high, only 23 % of people in Australia and 20% of people in New Zealand who actually get stressed when worrying about the security issues of online shopping.

The Highest Concerns About the Risks of Online Shopping

On average, about one in three people spend more than two hours a week shopping online. 16% of people in Australia and 17% of people in New Zealand have already experienced credit card fraud after shopping online.

Participants were asked about what risks they worry most about when shopping online. The two highest concerns were having credit card details stolen, and purchasing goods from an illegitimate website. Surprisingly, people were less concerned about personal information being stolen, such as falling victim to a data breach, or getting their username and password details leaked from a website.

Online Shopping Security

Although people are aware that there is a need for security when shopping online, about half do not know or follow basic steps to secure their online shopping experiences.

When it comes to online shopping security, there are a multitude of security tools put in place to help keep users and their transactions safe. However, one in three shoppers don’t look for site security before shopping. Of the 63% who bother to check, only 17% are fully confident that they know what to look for.
Around half of people surveyed make their purchases from websites with only enhanced security settings- the other half either do not use them or do not really understand enhanced security.

Mobile Shopping
When it comes to making purchases on mobile phones, there is a clear generation gap. Around half of people in New Zealand under 45 use their smartphones to browse online shops, and of those, only 37% of them make purchases. In Australia, 53% of people under 30 use their phones for browsing, and 35% make actual purchases.

Protection + Education:

While a lot of these statistics may seem alarming, they don’t have to be. If you plan to do any online shopping this year, it’s important to know how to identify and use the security tools available to you. The best way to protect yourself and others from cybercriminals is to be proactive about the security features available and learn how they work. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important security tools available for shopping online, what to look for, and how to use them:

  • Check for SSL, aka Secure Sockets Layer, which is a secure shopping protocol. Sites with SSL feature ‘HTTPS://’ instead of ‘HTTP://’ in their web addresses. These certificates provide that safety padlock in the URL bar of a browser, along with the HTTPS (“S” indicating “secure”) in the address bar.
  • Use a comprehensive Internet security solution such as Norton Security Premium and ensure that it is always up to date.
  • When shopping on mobile devices, use a VPN when you browse. This encrypts your traffic so even if someone manages to eavesdrop, they’ll just have a bunch of encrypted data. VPNs, or virtual private networks, like Norton WiFi Privacy can turn Wi-Fi into secured private connections.
  • You can actually find out a lot about a website’s security by looking for visual cues. Scan the entire site for trust marks. Norton Secure Seal is a widely recognised trust mark which provides evidence that a retailer’s identity has been verified and the website is secured by Symantec.
  • App concerns are high, however, with Norton Mobile Security, you can use App Advisor for Android to help verify the legitimacy of an app.
  • Lastly, if you are still unsure about the credibility of a website you can use Norton Safe Web, a free online tool, that can help identify risky websites as you shop.

About the Norton Online Shopping Survey

Norton by Symantec commissioned an online quantitative survey through Morar Consulting in November 2016, with 1,000 Australians aged 18 and over. The survey aimed to understand and discover the views and experiences related to the security of online shopping for Australians.

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