86% of global consumers fall victim to identity theft and fraud as online shopping increases

Over half of consumers (51%) also experienced a rise in phishing activity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

LONDON and PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 86% of consumers have this year been the victim of identity theft, credit/debit card fraud or a data breach, increasing from 80% in 2019, according to new research from OpSec Security.

OpSec’s Annual Consumer Barometer surveying 2,600 global consumers discovered that the increase in cyberattacks experienced by shoppers could be having an impact on their confidence in making online purchases. As key retail events including Black Friday and Christmas are fast approaching, the majority of people revealed they now feel less confident than they did in 2019 to make purchases via apps (53% from 60%), social media adverts (31% to 26%) and online market places (58% to 55%).

These concerns appear to be two-fold – whilst 63% are concerned about hackers stealing their personal details during the online shopping process, 58% are more directly concerned about the possibility of scammers stealing their money.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic increasing internet usage globally, 37% of consumers said the frequency of their online grocery shopping has increased in tandem, of which 14% stated it increased significantly. However, it appears this shift in online behaviour is being exploited by online bad actors as over half (51%) of consumers have noticed an increase in phishing activity as a result.

Bill Birnie, SVP OpSec Security and General Manager OpSec Online, said, “There is a small but noticeable increase in how many consumers have fallen victim to cyberattacks compared to last year, and this is reflected in reduced confidence from consumers in making purchases via digital channels. This highlights the impact negative online experiences can have on brand perception, and now more than ever, with so much of our day-to-day lives being conducted online, brands need to be doing more to ease these worries and give reassurance that they have the safeguards in place to protect consumers from cyberthreats.”

Currently, when evaluating the safety of e-commerce sites just over half (54%) of shoppers make sure the site they are using is a reputable brand name, while 23% investigate the brand on social media. The survey also highlighted that 46% of respondents check that the e-commerce site has an SSL certificate – the padlock in a browser’s search bar which allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Worryingly, one in 10 (10%) consumers don’t do any form of evaluation.

Birnie, added, “It’s clear that there needs to be more education around how to shop safely online, and brands must be proactive here. For example, cybercriminals can still simply sign up for a free 90-day SSL certificate for their website to give it a fake air of legitimacy, which many consumers are likely to be unaware of. As the increased use of online services is likely to drive long-term changes in consumerism, companies must engage expert partners to put protective steps in place to lessen possible attacks on their customers and maintain that all-important customer trust.”

To uncover more of OpSec’s findings and how you can better protect your brand and your customers, download your copy of the “OpSec Barometer: Navigating the New Normal Online” now.

About OpSec Security
OpSec secures a trusted connection with your customers, while ensuring the authenticity of your brand’s products and services. Our mission is to address complex global Brand Protection challenges with simple innovative solutions that companies of any size can apply to authenticate their products.

OpSec Security combines industry-leading authentication technologies with the proprietary online brand protection services acquired from MarkMonitor, a Clarivate company in January of 2020.

For more information please visit www.opsecsecurity.com. Follow OpSec on LinkedIn, Twitter: @OpSecSecurity, and Facebook.


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