December 13, 2007, 12:00 AM

Survey shows French and Germans are least concerned about online security

But the British are the most gung-ho on online shopping this holiday season, according to a survey by Webroot Software. The Japanese are the most concerned about security and least likely to shop online. U.S. consumers fall in between.


A six-nation survey finds big differences in the security concerns of online shoppers. The French and Germans are the least concerned, the Japanese the most, and U.S. consumers fall in between.

The October 2007 survey of 3,626 online shoppers by security software firm Webroot Software Inc. found 80% of respondents plan to shop online this holiday season, up from 75% in last year’s survey. And 27% plan to do more than half their shopping online, versus 20% last year.

31.5% of all respondents said they were concerned about online transaction security, and the percentages varied widely by country. 48.9% of Japanese consumers said they were concerned, compared with 40.9% in Canada, 35.1% in the U.S., 31.3% in the UK, 16.9% in Germany and 15.7% in France.

The concern about security among Japanese consumers appears to be deterring many of them from shopping online during the holiday season. The Japanese were the least likely to be planning online purchases at 47%. The British were the most likely to shop online at 94%, followed by consumers from the U.S. at 89%, Germany 88%, France 85% and Canada 80%.

Ironically, Japanese respondents reported the lowest level of fraud incidents among the six nations. For instance, only 1.6% of the Japanese said they had been the victim of identity theft versus 6.5% of U.S. respondents, who were the most likely to report identity theft.

“Some may interpret that to mean online shoppers in Japan are more concerned than they should be,” the Webroot report says, “but it is just as likely that their concerns have made them more cautious, and so they are more likely to minimize their exposure to these risks.”

Webroot Software is based in Boulder, CO.


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