A new report has emerged claiming that 84% of online shoppers would choose bargain prices over concerns of data security, highlighting the dangers of online shopping scams and the sacrifices bargain-hunters are willing to make.
The report comes from high-profile anti-virus firm Kaspersky, who says that more than four-fifths – 84% – of online shoppers are willing to choose bargain prices over their data concerns, most commonly sharing their personal information with retailers in exchange for better deals.
Researchers at Kaspersky were curious to find out just how far shoppers will go in the hunt for a bargain, and were able to determine whether or not consumers were more interested in protecting their data, or if shoppers would choose bargain prices, instead.
Authors of the report said that 84% of shoppers were happy to hand over their email addresses, names, and telephone numbers to secure early-access to bargains or reserve their products at a cheaper price.
Kaspersky says that a mere 25% of respondents said they would not be handing over their personal information over the festive season to secure a bargain, and that a further 17% would only shop with reputable brands to minimise the chance of identity theft or an e-commerce scam.
Worryingly, just 29% of shoppers said that they were aware of the fact that handing over their data to secure a deal while shopping online posed a grave security risk.
James Coker of Information Security Magazine writes that “fraudsters are therefore likely to take advantage of this increased desire to save money, which is partly fuelled by the economic crisis and job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
We’ve reported previously that Australia’s Scamwatch authority has issued a warning for Christmas shoppers to be wary of e-commerce scams and be vigilant of fraudsters looking to capitalise on Christmas shopping.
Kaspersky’s Principal Security Researcher, David Emm has said that “online shopping is a tempting and easy way to part with our hard-earned cash. Emails with bargains and offers land in our inbox, and with just a few clicks the goods can be winging their way to our homes without us having to ever leave the sofa.”
“This can be a risky business at the best of times,” Emm says, adding that “as brands launch seasonal sales over the next few weeks ahead of what is predicted to be one of the busiest Black Friday and sale shopping periods ever for online retailers, scammers are more primed than usual to take advantage of unwitting customers.”
Kaspsersky’s Principal Security Researcher continued to explain that “given the year we have had, any bargains or major discounts will be very tempting as many people try to make the most of the festive period. However, we encourage shoppers to be mindful and think about the data they are handing over in a bid for a bargain.”
“Think about whether it’s absolutely necessary to share your personal information for each purchase and if it’s not, is it just a trick to lure you into disclosing your data,” Emms says. “By ensuring deals are genuine before making any purchases, consumers can reduce the risk of potential pitfalls and enjoy their Christmas.”