Consumers still fear web rip-offs

The findings suggest that fears have actually risen since the summer. In June, a survey for consumer magazine Which? reported that 51% of internet users were worried about fraud and 42% thought it unsafe to use credit cards online.

Mike Young, head of ecommerce strategy at Mondex, said: ‘E-tailers could be in for a bumpy ride this Christmas if consumers are not happy shopping online. There have been a number of security scares during the year and this has clearly alarmed potential online purchasers.’

Mondex claims that breaches have occurred because the majority of security mechanisms are software based and ‘relatively easy to compromise’, and because password-based systems are ‘notoriously vulnerable in a virtual world’.

The firm recommends that users keep records of email correspondence with websites; buy only from sites who use a secure server to take credit card details; and use one credit card for all transactions to limit liability should something go wrong.

The website address prefix https:// is used to indicate a secure server – http:// is the usual prefix.

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