Only a quarter of UK consumers feel very secure when shopping online

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...yet more than half are doing so more frequently than pre-pandemic, ESET reveals. 39% feel very secure when online banking, suggesting that banks are ahead of retailers when it comes to security and consumer confidence


LONDON ESET, a global leader in cybersecurity, reveals that only 25% of consumers in the UK feel ‘very secure’ when shopping online, yet 63% of UK consumers are shopping online more often than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. ESET has explored the topic of online shopping and banking in the consumer segment of its global financial technology (FinTech) research, surveying 10,000 consumers across the UK, US, Australia, Japan and Brazil.

Consumers were asked for their views and experiences of online shopping and banking, and the responses reveal the extent to which internet retailing has surged during the pandemic. 63% of consumers in the UK stated that they are shopping online more often than before the pandemic, with this number rising to 71% amongst the 25-34 age group​.

The research also shows that increased online shopping is here to stay even after the pandemic is over; nearly a third (32%) of consumers expect to be shopping online more post-pandemic​ than they are currently. On the other hand, consumers are not as confident in their security when shopping online, with just 25% stating that they feel ‘very secure’ when doing so. 12% of UK consumers also said that they feel either ‘not particularly secure’ or ‘not at all secure’.

On the topic of internet banking, confidence is much higher. 89% of UK respondents reported that they manage their bank account(s) online, with 24% of these doing so exclusively through a mobile app​. 39% of people said that they feel ‘very secure’ when online banking, suggesting that banks are ahead of retailers when it comes to security and consumer confidence.

Commenting on the results, Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly limited our ability to visit shops in-person, so it is no surprise that our research shows a surge in popularity for online shopping. However, it is worrying that only a quarter of consumers feel very safe when shopping online.

“The confidence in internet banking demonstrates that the many UK financial regulations that these platforms have to follow, such as PSD2, help to build confidence with users; something that Strong Customer Authentication (a derivative of PSD2 coming into force on the 14th March 2021) may help to address for online shopping. That being said, responsible e-commerce sites could be more vocal about the measures they are taking to protect their customers throughout the purchasing journey to build their confidence while shopping online. Protecting consumers and their data from phishers and other malicious actors is vital, and it is our mission to do so using our cutting-edge security software technology.”

Incidentally, Brits are more confident than any other nation surveyed when it comes to spotting phishing emails. 78% of UK consumers think they would be able to spot a fraudulent email imitating a shop they use regularly, 10% higher than the average among the other regions surveyed. This is in spite of the fact that, by the end of the first COVID-19 lockdown in July 2020, UK consumers had lost over £11 million collectively to COVID-19 related phishing scams, which could indicate a level of false confidence.

To learn more about ESET and its global financial technology research, visit our blog.


About ESET 
For more than 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. From endpoint and mobile security to endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and multi-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7, updating defences in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company that enables the safe use of technology. This is backed by ESET’s R&D centres worldwide, working in support of our shared future. For more information, visit our website or follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.