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BizReport : Ecommerce : April 03, 2014

NSA snooping prompts consumer caution in online banking and shopping

Consumers are treading cautiously online. Not only are they doing less online banking, some are even reducing the amount they use email, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for data security firm ESET.

by Helen Leggatt

Almost half of the 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed (47%) said they were more cautious of online activity - particularly in what they say, do and the sites they visit. The survey is released just as Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, admits that Americans' emails continue to be searched.

Furthermore, across all age groups, more than a quarter said they were conducting less banking activity online and 24% were less inclined to use email.

More worrying still for ecommerce, 26% have decreased the amount of shopping they do online, compared to 14% last year.The likelihood of caution rises among younger age group with a third saying they are shopping less online.

According to Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher at ESET, writing on the company blog, over a quarter of respondents (26%) had changed their behavior based on recent revelations about the National Security Agency's snooping. This change in consumer behavior, says Cobb, "translates into a worrying trend for the online economy" and is "not good news for companies that rely on sustained or increased use of the Internet for their business model".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: banking, consumer trust, ecommerce, security

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