September 16, 2010, 12:59 PM

U.S. consumers have the highest rate of online credit card fraud, study reveals

32% of U.S. online consumers say they have experienced online credit card fraud.

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32% of U.S. online consumers say they have experienced online credit card crime, the highest of any country polled in a recent global study.

The study, commissioned by F-Secure, a computer security vendor, and conducted by Zoomerang, asked 1,450 consumers in Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Sweden, the U.K. and the United States about their online security experiences and perceptions.

Following the U.S., Malaysia and the U.K. tied for the next highest amount of online credit card crime encounters with 27%. The lowest fraud rates came from Poland with 11% and Finland with 12%.



When it comes to perceived online security risk, Germans (77%) and Malaysians (73%) were the most concerned about online safety, while Swedes (42%) and Finns (36%) were the least concerned.

49% of respondents across the seven surveyed countries said they have been hit by malware in the past 12 months, but that their security software notified them and prevented infection. Poland (70%), Finland (60%) and Malaysia (54%), were the countries with the most aborted malware hits. Germany, with 32%, had the fewest thwarted attacks.

Poland, with 14%, and Malaysia, with 11%, were the countries with the most respondents infected by malware.

The poll also shows many consumers don’t know much about computer viruses and threats. For example, in many countries, about a third of computer owners do not know if their computers are infected. 38% of respondents from Sweden, 34% from the U.S., 33% from the U.K. and 32% from Germany said they were unsure about whether their computers had any viruses or threats.

There is also wide variation in how concerned computer users are about specific types of malware attacks. For example, 65% of Germans and 59% of Malaysians said they are concerned about downloading malware from a web site, compared to just 22% of Finnish consumers. At 62% of respondents, German and U.K. computer owners are most concerned about clicking on fraudulent search results that may lead them to malicious web sites.

7% of all respondents do not know what malicious code or malware is. The U.K. and the U.S., each at 12%, have the highest scores and Malaysia follows with 9%.

"Germany seems to combine a high level of worry with a low level of exposure to the actual threats,” says Sean Sullivan , security advisor at F-Secure. “Caution is good when surfing the web, but being overly concerned may also prevent people from experiencing the full benefits of the web. There is also a learning curve, as people become exposed to threats, they also learn how to deal with new situations and become more confident and less concerned."


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