Online fraud worries end-users

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Internet users are changing their online behavior because of fears about identity theft and fraud.

According to a survey conducted by Insight Express during the week of July 10 for Symantec regarding online fraud, 86 percent of the 300 respondents have not been victimized by online fraud or identity theft, but they have still changed the way they use the Internet.

Such concerns about online crime have prompted about 74 percent of respondents to purchase products through secure sites only, while 45 percent refuse to provide confidential data over the Internet. Approximately 32 percent don't use the Internet for online banking and 15 percent said they don't trust the Internet.

Despite the recent deluge of information about phishing attacks, only about 30 percent said they are familiar with the scams. It seems spyware has captured these users' attention, however, with 75 percent of respondents more informed about such threats.

The survey was conducted to determine where user awareness stands and gauge Internet usage behavior, according to a Symantec representative. Other findings include the following:

  • Some 44 percent thought they may have visited a fraudulent web site, but were unsure, while about 20 percent knew they definitely hit such a site.
  • About 44 percent of respondents receive unsolicited emails requesting personal information several times a day.
  • The majority of respondents have taken proactive steps to identify if they have been a victim of online fraud or identity theft, with 81 percent checking their bank statements monthly and 74 percent checking their credit card statements monthly.  Only 23 percent of respondents receive regular credit reports.
  • Approximately half the respondents felt they knew how to protect themselves from online fraud and/or online identity theft (54.2 percent), while 46 percent didn't think they knew how to protect themselves.

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition

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