Shoppers in the UK are happy to buy goods and services online, but are still unsure of who has responsibility for security, a new survey has found.
A poll by shopping portal MutualPoints questioned 3,500 people in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff and Edinburgh, and found that over three quarters felt safe handing over their credit card details online.
Shoppers in the north were most confident of making web purchases. Some 84 per cent of people in Edinburgh and 82 per cent in Leeds were 'very happy', compared with 73 per cent in Birmingham and London.
However, shoppers are unsure where the responsibility for security lies. Only a third felt that their ISP provided all the protection they need, while 75 per cent felt that the internet security industry does not do enough to educate users about how to protect their computers from potential threats.
Confidence is lowest in Edinburgh, where only 22.3 per cent believe that the industry is doing enough. Residents of Birmingham are the most happy to place their trust in security companies, where 25.4 per cent expressed confidence in security firms.
"Online threats are constantly evolving, and keeping up to date and protected is a challenge for many users," said Stephan Tate, European marketing director at MutualPoints.
"The security industry needs to find a way of demystifying online protection so that it is accessible to everyone."
The vast majority of users take steps to protect themselves from online fraud, the survey found.
Around 85 per cent regularly download security updates to defend against the latest viruses and scams.
When asked whether they had been hit by a virus, spyware or phishing scam in the past six months, just a third of the people surveyed said they had experienced one or more of these, with 6.7 per cent losing files as a result.
Consumer awareness about phishing attempts is high, although 3.9 per cent of online shoppers had lost money after falling for one of these scams.
A small number of people questioned (8.4 per cent) had replaced hardware following a security threat.
Although the overwhelming majority (94 per cent) felt that it is important to have security software installed, half of all respondents claimed that they are not concerned by internet security in general.
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