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Online safety key to attracting consumer spend on Cyber Monday

The latest KPMG research has found that over half of British consumers (55%) say they would be less likely to use an online retailer over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend if they knew it had been previously hacked and/or suffered a data breach.

Comparatively, female consumers demonstrated a stronger aversion, with 61% agreeing compared to males, 50%.

“Peak shopping periods across November and December are an opportune time for retailers and an exciting time to be a consumer. But, as we know, when online retailers begin to gear up for them, so do attackers,” said Martin Tyley, head of cyber and privacy at KPMG UK.

“These findings should send a clear message to retailers that consumers expect to be able to shop safely online. Any responsible online retailer should be able to give confidence to their customers that they are frequently testing their own security to ensure that their data is processed and held securely. Notwithstanding that this is clearly the right thing to do, there is also a regulatory expectation around personal data.”

The survey, conducted by Opinium on KPMG’s behalf, also revealed that over two thirds (64%) of Brits feel confident that they could recognise instances of fraud, phishing or spam on websites or emails offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.

This is lowest amongst those aged 75+ (54%) compared to 25-34 year olds (71%). Equally, the survey found that those in Northern Ireland feel the least confident (58%) across the UK, with those in the North-East feeling most confident (74%).

“Cyber attackers continually develop new means of exploiting online activity across email, websites, mobile, social media platforms and more. Therefore, Cyber Monday, as the online equivalent of Black Friday, comes with significant associated security risks,” said Tyley.

“For consumers who feel less confident at spotting fraudulent efforts – basic steps that they can follow include using a credit card to make purchases, and accessing websites directly from an internet search as opposed to clicking on a link in an email. While customers are more likely to register with new sites during this shopping period, this is a timely reminder to use different passwords for each registration so that in the event that site is hacked, it limits the risk to those credentials to that one site.

“If consumers don’t want their Christmases cancelled, they must play their part in keeping the door firmly shut to cybercriminals.”

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