Technology Other News 13 Nov 2018 Online shoppers risk ...

Online shoppers risk security, embrace discounts

Published Nov 13, 2018, 4:08 pm IST
Updated Nov 13, 2018, 4:08 pm IST
Financial stress during the festive season increases carelessness while shopping online
A new survey reveals that more than half of online festive shoppers would risk purchasing from an unfamiliar website for savings
 A new survey reveals that more than half of online festive shoppers would risk purchasing from an unfamiliar website for savings

Holiday Stresses reveal the risky habits of online shoppers. McAfee announced findings from its latest survey that consumers are willing to share their email address while shopping and purchasing items from online retailers to get a good deal (50 per cent). The majority of respondents (77 per cent) agree that shopping during festive season induces increased financial stress, while 55 per cent admit that they are likely or very likely to click on an unfamiliar email because it offered savings on their festive shopping. This highlights the need for consumers to slow down and consider the risks of unsafe purchasing behavior that could lead to identity theft or financial loss.

According to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation, the e-commerce market in India is expected to reach US$ 64 billion by 2020. Attractive pricing options along with the convenience of home delivery are driving people to shop online to find the perfect gift. Unfortunately, when it comes to online shopping, consumers are more concerned about finding the lowest price and potentially jeopardizing their online security in the process. The survey found that 68 per cent of consumers are willing to use a website they are unfamiliar with, if this means they can save money on their purchases. Additionally, 45 per cent admit to sharing their personal mobile numbers to avail a good deal.


“Festive shopping season increases the financial burden on most people. Stress coupled with festivities often makes people turn a blind eye to possible breaches of personal data online,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India. “Cyber-attackers are well aware that people do not pay much attention to their online activities during this time and use this to their advantage. Consumers should be vigilant of the deals and offers that appear too good to be true online and take proper steps to ensure they can enjoy a safe festive season.”


Increased awareness among Indian shoppers

The McAfee survey also revealed how Indian shoppers are evolving to adopt safer online buying habits and are warier of the lurking shopping frauds. Nearly 74 per cent of respondents would do their research to make sure it is genuine before they purchase from an unfamiliar website. While 55 per cent of respondents are aware of not using an unsecure Wi-Fi connection to make a purchase online, 59 per cent consumers would report a possible phishing attack via email. Similarly, online shoppers today are well aware of the increased vulnerability of cyber thefts during festive season, therefore 55% check their bank statements more often during this time.


Tips to stay safe while shopping online:

—Always connect with caution. Public Wi-Fi might seem like a good idea, but if consumers are not careful, they could be unknowingly be exposing personal information or credit card details to cybercriminals who are snooping on the network. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connection use a virtual private network (VPN) to help keep your connection secure.

—Think before you click. One of the easiest ways for a cybercriminal to compromise their victim is by using phishing emails to lure consumers into clicking links for products or services that could lead to malware, or a phony website designed to steal personal information. If the deal seems too good to be true, or the email was not expected it’s always best to check directly with the source.


—Browse with security protection. Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help keep devices protected against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor which can help identify malicious websites.

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