Study: Online Shoppers Don’t Realize How Vulnerable They Are to Cyber Attacks

July 5, 2017

9:20 am

Online shopping is all about freedom. Unlike brick and mortar stores, ecommerce websites allow you to peruse dozens of stores, hundreds of sizes, thousands of brands, and millions of styles in the click of a button. However, this freedom apparently comes at a pretty serious cost, as one study has revealed that no one realizes how risky it is to shop online.

The study conducted by NordVPN was part of the National Privacy Test, a digital security campaign that promotes cybersecurity and privacy among Internet users around the world. It tested the knowledge of nearly 5,000 respondents in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia on their knowledge concerning online privacy and security through a Facebook poll. And, much to their chagrin, the average score was 48 percent.

“This points to a lack of understanding of just how vulnerable users can be on public networks, where the level of security is unknown and anyone with basic hacking skills can access sensitive data of everyone connected,” said Marty P. Kamden, the CMO of NordVPN in a press release.

The most infuriating aspect of the study was that most online shoppers demonstrated a glaring lack of knowledge on how to secure their information when shopping online. You don’t need military-grade firewalls or high-level encryption softwares. You just need to make sure all of your passwords aren’t “Password123.”

“Online fraud usually happens when people are not careful with their online activities – not using strong passwords, entering credit card information without making sure the website is not a fake, and doing any online transaction on unsecured hotspots,” said Kamden.

You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to shop online without worrying about things like identity theft. You just need to exhibit a little bit of common sense before pressing the Purchase button. Because the only thing more annoying for online shoppers than spending too much on shipping is having to cancel your credit card because your pin number is your birthday.

Read more about the importance of cybersecurity on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word “colloquially.”

Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at [email protected].

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