New research by Travelstart finds that 66% of South African Internet users believe online shopping has become safer in the last year.
A poll conducted by the online travel booking website found that 37% of 7,511 respondents buy goods and services online at least once a month, 36% once every 3 months, 22% once a year, while only 5% said they never purchase goods and services online.
Banking (30%) and online classifieds (20%) are top of the list when it comes to making people feel most uncomfortable when transacting online.
To a much lesser degree, travel (9%), electronics (7%), daily deal websites (4%) and fashion (4%) rounded out the categories which make online shoppers most uneasy about fraud.
Only 12% said that none of the categories make them nervous, and 32% are comfortable with spending as much as R2,500 in one transaction.
As cybercrime becomes more prevalent, savvy shoppers are doing more to safeguard themselves against the threat of fraud, with 53% saying they are ‘above average’ at protecting themselves from threats posed by hackers.
When asked to rate their awareness of 14 well-known scam tactics used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information, survey participants said they were most vigilant of email phishing scams, Internet lottery scams, credit card skimming and false payment confirmation scams in that order.
On the other hand, 419 scams, shortened URL scams, and major event scams are lesser known, Travelstart said.
Travelstart said that worryingly, 36% of respondents say they have carried out credit card sensitive transactions using public Wi-Fi networks such as those available at coffee shops, airports and shopping centres.
The survey also revealed the trust factors and security features local shoppers consider most important when purchasing online.
The top 9 in order of most important to least important are:
- The website is a well-known brand;
- The website has clearly visible contact details;
- The website uses encryption for transactions;
- The website is secured by an Internet security authority such as Thawte;
- The website has an easily findable office location;
- The website offers multiple payment channels;
- Industry body trust symbols are displayed on the websites home page;
- The website has 3D Secure enabled;
- The website has a social media presence with recent activity.