Security concerns dog U.S. online shoppers says survey

Consumers shopping online fear their personal information will be sold to third party

Despite the increasing size of the online shopping market, one in four U.S. consumers won't shop online during the upcoming holiday season because of concerns over buying goods online, according to the results of a survey published on Tuesday.

A major concern of consumers when shopping online is a fear that their personal information will be sold to a third party, according to the survey, which was commissioned by the Business Software Alliance and conducted by Forrester Custom Consumer Research. It surveyed 1,099 U.S. consumers. The survey found 79 percent of people worried about such a sale of their information.

Another big concern was identity theft (74 percent) and consumers were also worried about spam, credit card fraud, and computer viruses, the survey found.

Users are turning to technology to fight against some potential online annoyances like spyware and spam. Just over four out of five reported they are running anti-virus software (81 percent) while levels were lower for anti-spyware software (67 percent), e-mail filtering/spam blocker software (65 percent), and firewalls (63 percent).

Almost three quarters of users are concerned about buying and selling goods through online auction services, the BSA reported.

More details of the survey and tips on how users can protect themselves online can be found at the BSA's Web site at http://www.bsa.org/usa/ .

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