Phishing fears hit online confidence

Increased phishing, where and hackers and crooks get unauthorised access to sensitive personal data and reports of lost consumer data has caused consumer confidence in online buying to take a severe knock, according to a Gartner report published 22 June.

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By  Jane Plunkett Published  July 10, 2005

Increased phishing, where and hackers and crooks get unauthorised access to sensitive personal data and reports of lost consumer data has caused consumer confidence in online buying to take a severe knock, according to a Gartner report published 22 June. The Gartner survey of 5,000 U.S. adults showed the number of consumers receiving phishing attack e-mails increased 28% in the 12 months ending in May 2005 compared with the previous twelve months results, according to the Gartner data. In the course of the survey Gartner uncovered that 2.4 million online consumers have reported losing money directly because of the phishing attacks. The survey participants indicated that banks repaid most of the money stolen, however this is not enough to ensure the peace of mind of consumers when shopping or paying bills online. "Companies need to take steps quickly to beef up online security," said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner. Consumers want guarantees from merchants and other businesses that their Web sites are genuine every time they go online. "In general, consumers expect companies they do business with to provide secure online communications and to protect consumer data from thieves at no additional cost to consumers," Litan said. In the survey, nearly twice as many consumers said they worry more about thieves getting undetected access to private credit reports and other sensitive financial data than defending against phishing attacks.

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