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Online shopping taking off here, but e-shoppers sweat over security

The top concerns among online shoppers were having their financial details being stolen by cybercriminals and falling victim to fraud, and sharing credit card details with a website they had not visited before, according to a PayPal survey.

SINGAPORE: More Singaporeans are shopping online - with more than three-quarters saying they do so at least once a month - and concerns over fraud and cybercrime are rising in tandem, according to a survey by PayPal.

The digital payment portal's survey of more than 1,000 Singaporean adults found that 78 per cent of respondents shop online at least once a month, with more than half, or 55 per cent, doing so via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. 

And with two-thirds saying they spend more than S$100 online over the past three months, the top concerns among online shoppers were having their financial details being stolen by cybercriminals and falling victim to fraud (57 per cent) and sharing credit card details with a website they had not visited before (20 per cent), according to the survey results released on Thursday (July 31).

Despite their concerns, the survey found that the majority of online shoppers have not fallen victim to fraud or cybercrime. Instead, most respondents (36 per cent) identified with not receiving their items or receiving damaged physical goods.

SHIPPING FEARS

The survey also found that while shopping cross-border is becoming increasingly popular, the majority of those who do so (89 per cent) are more concerned about online risks when shopping from overseas websites compared with local sites. More respondents also felt safe purchasing digital goods (62 per cent) online compared to physical goods (54 per cent).

Shoppers indicated that a greater assurance of protection would give them peace of mind while shopping online, particularly at overseas websites. Other factors include:

  • Using reputable and trusted payment methods (69%)
  • Positive feedback on merchant online and on social media (66%)
  • Having policies that protect customers in the event of unauthorised transactions, damaged or undelivered products (61%)
  • Not having to disclose credit card details to the merchant/website (52%)

PayPal provided the following tips to help e-shoppers avoid becoming victims of cybercrime:

  • A "https" at the beginning of an URL means it’s a lot more secure. Never enter your financial information on a website’s checkout page without it.
  • Do not click on links in suspicious emails, and do not give out your personal and financial details over email.
  • Only download apps from companies you trust and check reviews, as some apps contain malware designed to steal your financial data.
  • Whichever app or browser you’re buying from, always check that you have the latest version installed to ensure your security protection is up-to-date. 

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