Published on November 15th, 2018 | by Admin

McAfee study: Shoppers willing to risk cybersecurity for holiday discounts

Sydney, Australia, Nov. 14, 2018 – Today McAfee, the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, announced findings from its latest survey, Holiday Stresses, revealing the risky habits of  Australian online shoppers, including using unsecured Wi-Fi for online shopping (20 percent) and purchasing items from online retailers they are not fully confident are genuine (51 percent).

The majority of respondents (78 percent) agree that the holiday shopping season induces increased financial stress, while 46 percent admit that this pressure can cause them to be careless while shopping online. This highlights the need for consumers to slow down and consider the risks of unsafe purchasing behaviour that could lead to identity theft or financial loss.

Last year Australians spent $21.3 billion on the web for retail purchases, which was a 19% increase over 2016. Unfortunately, when it comes to online shopping, consumers are more concerned about finding the lowest price than potentially jeopardising their personal cybersecurity in the process. The survey found that 64 percent of consumers are willing to use a website they are unfamiliar with, if this means they can save money on their purchases. Even worse, 33 percent admit to clicking links in suspicious emails for better deals.

While only 10 percent of Australians surveyed would be willing to risk having their bank account details fall into the wrong hands for a good deal, 41 percent would be willing to risk their email address, 23 percent their phone number, and 18 percent said they would risk giving away their home address.

Worryingly, only 36 percent said they would report a phishing email if they received one, and almost a fifth (19 per cent) either don’t think they could tell if they received a phishing email, or wouldn’t know who to report it to or how.

“For many Australians, the holiday shopping season is a stressful time of year, and it can cause real financial strain. The last minute rush for gifts coupled with trying to stick to a budget often leads to risky online behaviours,” said Ian YIP, Chief Technology Officer at McAfee APAC.

“Cybercriminals know that people are shopping more online and are less likely to be focused on security measures during this period and they use that to their advantage. Remaining vigilant and being careful about what you click on and only providing your financial and personal information to trusted websites will go a long way to staying safe this holiday shopping season.”

Tips for Consumers to Stay Safe While Shopping Online

  • Connect with caution. Using public Wi-Fi might seem like a good idea in the moment, but if consumers are not careful, they could be unknowingly exposing their personal information or credit card details to cybercriminals who are snooping on the network. If public Wi-Fi must be used to conduct transactions, use a virtual private network (VPN) such as McAfee Safe Connect to help ensure a secure connection.
  • Think before you click. One of the easiest ways for a cybercriminal to target victims is by using phishing emails disguised as holiday savings or shipping notification, to lure consumers into clicking links that could lead to malware, or a phony website designed to steal personal information. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it is always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.
  • Browse with security protection. Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisorwhich can help identify malicious websites.

Survey Methodology:

McAfee commissioned MSI-ACI to conduct a survey of 1,002 adults in Australia between the ages of 18 and 55 in October 2018.

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