Christmas shoppers taking risks online

The hunt for bargain Christmas presents is making many online shoppers take unnecessary risks, a new study shows.

Security company Websense analysed the online shopping behaviour of 1,000 online shoppers in London, Milan and Paris and found that many failed to protect themselves when e-shopping.

"Online shopping at Christmas is a balancing act for consumers," said Mark Murtagh, EMEA technical director at Websense. "This is a time of year where people are so busy that they can overlook potential web security risks in the hunt for the perfect bargain."

Shoppers more concerned with bargains and delivery dates

Three quarters of those questioned said they were not totally confident they would be able to identify a secure website. Only one in four said their greatest concern was to keep their credit card and online banking information safe.

The biggest worries for e-shoppers are instead to find the best deals available, and wondering whether the gifts would arrive on time, with 36 and 39 per cent respectively quoting these factors as concerns.

This attitude, Websense said, may lead many consumers to risk visiting unknown websites hoping to bag a bargain.

Consumers are also confused about what security measures to look for on shopping websites. 35 per cent of shoppers said they don't always check for the security padlock; and almost one in five (18 per cent) didn't know what to look for.

A staggering 17 per cent of shoppers also believed that shopping on the internet posed no risks whatsoever. They were also apparently oblivious to current security threats and said that they would not worry about it.

Women better online shoppers than men

In other Christmas shopping-related news, price comparison website Kelkoo reports that women are best at using the internet to shop.

A new Kelkoo survey shows that women are more likely to use their own judgement when shopping for Christmas presents. Men are more likely to act on recommendations from others, and are often willing to pay more for such products compared to women.

The survey (unsurprisingly) also showed that men are happy to buy presents closer to Christmas Day, whilst buying for a small number of people only.

"Women have traditionally been responsible for buying the bulk of Christmas presents for loved ones, and are therefore more experienced than men," managing director of Kelkoo in Sweden, Laila Dahlén, said in a statement.

The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) predicts that Christmas shoppers in the UK alone will spend £180m per day this holiday season.