A survey by the Business Software Alliance claimed consumer enthusiasm for online Christmas shopping appeared to have been boosted by confidence in protective security measures such as anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
More than two out of three US online adults (70%) said that internet security concerns did not curtail them from making purchases online, and 38% of online holiday shoppers said they spent more online than last year.
But one in three (30%) said security fears compelled them to shop less online or not at all, and one in five (20%) said internet security had them "very concerned" about online shopping.
Of the respondents who said they shopped online during the holiday season, many said they felt "very confident" or "extremely confident" of their protection from computer viruses (56%), credit card fraud (50%), identity theft (46%), and spyware (41%).
They were less confident, in the light of recent disclosures, of not having their personal information being sold to a third party and from receiving unsolicited spam emails.
Incredibly, 88% of online shoppers said the computers they used for shopping had anti-virus software installed and nearly 80% said they had anti-spyware software, firewall protection and spam blocking software.
It’s hard not to take the view that those who are wary about online shopping are the right ones, and those with a more blasé ‘it’ll be alright’ view are the ones heading for a fall. As for the idea that nearly 90% of users had software protection, that takes some believing.