Young people in the UK are the least aware of security when shopping online, according to a new study by credit protection firm CPP.
The survey found that, while the young 'iPod generation' is the most web-aware, the older 'silver surfers' are far savvier when it comes to protecting themselves online.
Four-fifths of UK respondents aged 45 to 54 refuse to make purchases online if there are no markings on a website to prove its security, but only two thirds of those aged 16 to 24 take similar precautions.
More than 80 per cent of young people continue to leave themselves exposed to online card fraud, but become the most frustrated and annoyed by the inconvenience when they become victims.
The survey showed that one in 10 people in the UK had been a victim of online fraud and that, with an estimated £58,000 spent online in a lifetime, shoppers of all ages need to be a lot more vigilant.
More than a third of all UK web shoppers were not sure how they had been defrauded, but a significant number experienced fraudulent PayPal transactions which CPP believes highlights auction site eBay as a online fraud hotspot.
"Using your card online can quite easily be a way for you to become a victim of card fraud," said Danny Harrison, an identity theft expert at CPP.
"It is surprising that young people take the most risks online, where you might assume that they would be much more 'web aware' than the internet's older users."
Harrison added that all users should make sure that web pages are secure before entering any personal details.
"Just look for the padlock in the right hand corner of your web page," he said. "This means that it is a secure web page. Also look out for the HTTPS at the beginning of the web address as this also means that your card details will be protected."
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