May 20, 2003, 12:00 AM

Online shoppers want more security, MasterCard study says

In a survey conducted for MasterCard, 73% of consumers said enhanced security features would influence their decision to purchase online in the next three months.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

The majority of online shoppers are concerned about security and would increase their online shopping if retailers took certain security steps, says a new survey of online shoppers commissioned by MasterCard International.

The survey of 1,024 Internet users aged 18-69 with a general purpose credit card, conducted by Hamill Associates, Inc. in Q4 of last year, revealed:
--73% said enhanced security features would influence their decision to purchase online in the next three months.
--70% are concerned with security and fraud issues.
--61% are concerned that their credit card number will be intercepted by hackers.

MasterCard says web merchants can address consumers’ concerns by displaying privacy assurance policies, assuring customers that they will not receive unwanted e-mail messages, displaying a security endorsement on the site and adding a layer of security for online purchases.

MasterCard also surveyed users’ activities. The least experienced group, with average online tenure of 3.8 years, engages in four regular online activities regularly while those with the most experience, average 5.9 years, engaged in 10 online activities.

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