January 19, 2006, 12:00 AM

Consumers’ security concerns don’t stop them from online shopping

A December survey commissioned by the Business Software Alliance reports that 70% of consumers said Internet security concerns did not stop them from purchasing online this holiday season. 38% said they spent more online than they did the year before.

Concern about online security may be on consumers’ minds, but it didn’t stop most from shopping online this past holiday shopping season, says a survey from the Business Software Alliance, a trade group that promotes security and software copyright protection.

The survey, commissioned by BSA and conducted in late December by Harris Interactive, reported that 70% of consumers said Internet security concerns did not stop them from making purchases online. 38% said they spent more online than they did the year before. However, 30% said security fears compelled them to shop less online or not at all this holiday season. 20% said Internet security had them "very concerned" or "extremely concerned" this holiday season, with 31% of those 55 and older saying they were "very" or "extremely" concerned.

The survey examined 2,152 U.S. online adults` holiday shopping patterns in relationship to their Internet security confidence. Of respondents who shopped online during the holiday season, 56% said they felt "very confident" or "extremely confident" of their protection from computer viruses, 50% from credit card fraud, 46% from identity theft, and 41% from spyware.

"The vast majority of shoppers refuse to let security fears stop them, and it appears that many are taking proactive steps to protect themselves and their computers. Yet, a substantial number of shoppers are still wary about e-commerce safety," said Diane Smiroldo, BSA`s vice president of public affairs.

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