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.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

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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