As Christmas is nearly upon us again, the last minute rush to buy the remaining presents is intensifying. But according the APACS, the UK payments association (apacs.org.uk), 85% shoppers find the high street too crowded and stressful. Therefore many of us are increasingly using the internet to buy our presents; it is easy, quick and you do not have to endure the cold weather or long queues. Also, the presents are delivered to your door within one or two days and some are even gift wrapped in the process.
We are spending online at an average rate of £4.57 million per hour in the run-up to Christmas – (IRMG – Interactive Media in Retail Group – img.org ). “38% of those sales have taken place outside of traditional shopping hours, either before 9am or after 6pm.” That surely means that 62% of those sales are placed during working hours. This is causing information security experts like commissum to fear that many shoppers will be using their company’s time and resources to do their shopping in working hours. This can open organisations up to a number of risks such as loss of productivity, reduction of available bandwidth and increase of personal email which can lead to more spam and phishing attacks. Companies are therefore advised to provide employee with awareness training such as provided by commissum.
But if the internet is such a convenient way to buy your last minute presents why aren’t we all using the online shops? After all, the online market is currently £ 1.6 billion of a potential £ 5 to £ 6 billion to be spent leading up to Christmas. Apparently one in three of us are avoiding the online shops because of the perceived dangers of fraud, commissum are therefore helping online shops to keep their systems secure with their PCI DSS related services.
At commissum we often see evidence of users not taking simple measures to reduce these risks. Neither are they aware of the risks of their actions while purchasing goods online. This is backed-up by statistics from Card watch (cardwatch.org.uk) concluding that 1 in 8 online shoppers fail to logout a shopping site and 1 in 4 online shoppers do not check whether a website is safe and secure.