2020Identity Theft
Shattered Lock

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

More than eight in ten consumers – 86 percent – were the victim of identity theft, credit/debit card fraud, or data breaches in 2020, increasing from 80 percent in 2019, while over half – 51 percent – also experienced a rise in phishing activity during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to new research from OpSecSecurity.

OpSec’s annual Consumer Barometer Report 2020 surveyed 2,600 global consumers and discovered that the increase in cyberattacks experienced by shoppers could be having an impact on their confidence in making online purchases as key retail events such as Black Friday and Christmas are fast approaching.

The majority of people felt less confident than they did in 2019 to make purchases via apps, social media, and online market places. While 63 percent were concerned about hackers stealing personal details during the online shopping process, 58 percent were more directly concerned about scammers stealing their money.

With the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic increasing internet usage globally, 37 percent of consumers said the frequency of their online grocery shopping has increased in tandem. However, this behavior is being exploited by online bad actors as over half of consumers have noticed an increase in phishing activity as a result.

“There is a small but noticeable increase in how many consumers have fallen victim to cyberattacks compared to last year, and this is reflected in reduced confidence from consumers in making purchases via digital channels,” Bill Birnie, SVP OpSec Security, and General Manager OpSec Online, stated in a news release about the report.

“This highlights the impact negative online experiences can have on brand perception, and now more than ever, with so much of our day-to-day lives being conducted online, brands need to be doing more to ease these worries and give reassurance that they have the safeguards in place to protect consumers from cyberthreats.”

When evaluating the safety of e-commerce sites, just over half of shoppers made sure the site they use is a reputable brand name, while nearly one-quarter investigated the brand on social media. The survey also found that 46 percent of respondents check that the e-commerce site has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.

COVID-19 is a deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of November 23, 2020, there are approximately 58.8 million global cases and 1.3 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 12.2 million cases and 256,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

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