IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Festive online shopping security a rising concern for consumers
Wed, 6th Dec 2023

A recent survey by Ping Identity, a leading identity solutions provider, indicates an escalating concern among Australian consumers over the security of their personal information during online shopping transactions this festive season. The annual study evaluated consumer attitudes towards engaging with brands online.

The study sample consisted of 1,600 adult respondents from Australia. There was an apparent increase in apprehension regarding identity fraud during the holiday period. 44% of respondents stated they were more worried about online fraud during this period compared to the rest of the year. In an effort to mitigate this risk, 18% claimed to be using gift cards for their purchases, 45% restricted their shopping to familiar, reputable stores, and 36% were vigilantly scouring for potential phishing threats.

Ashley Diffey, the Vice President of Sales for Ping Identity in APAC and Japan, highlighted the burgeoning online shopping trend in Australia and the consequential rise in consumer anxiety over data security. "In recent years, Australians have embraced online shopping wholeheartedly and it's responsible for a steadily increasing proportion of the total consumer spend. But, following a series of high-profile data leaks, consumers have become alert to the risk of fraud and it has them worried," explained Diffey. Adding, "They want to continue to enjoy the convenience of shopping online, particularly over the holiday season, but they also want assurance that the information they share with retailers is secure."

The report underscores the importance of secure and personalised shopping experiences which can alleviate security concerns without overstepping on personal data collection. Significant findings from the Australian respondents pointed to a strong preference for robust identity verification measures. 41% stated that biometric authentication from businesses would help protect them against fraud, while half of the people surveyed felt more secure with multi-factor authentication and similarly, one-time login codes via emails or texts.

The potential misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) technology for creating online impersonations has amplified security worries with 53% expressing their concern. Further, while 52% were comfortable sharing personal information such as gender, age, phone number and date of birth with retailers, only 9% maintained full trust in the organisations handling their identity data.

In Diffey's concluding remarks, he said, "Many Australians have learnt the hard way that the personal information they share with businesses can be compromised. This Christmas, we can expect to see consumers exercising much more caution around their online purchasing choices."