UK Users Fear Online Payments: European Study

Brits are online scaredy-cats, a European Commissions study shows

Over half of UK Internet users are worried about the security of online payments, making the nation the most frightened of using such services as e-commerce and Internet banking, a European study has found.

The European Commission-supported survey showed 56 percent of UK respondents were  concerned about the security of online payments. The average across EU member states stood at just 38 percent.

The fear is likely to stem from the fact that UK Web users are more directly affected by cybercrime. Over one in ten (12 percent) of UK users said they had been hit by identity theft. Only Hungary had a percentage as high.

A fifth of UK respondents also said they had often received emails fraudulently asking for money and personal data.

vaso - Fotolia.comEU-wide fears

Overall, 59 percent of EU respondents complained they did not feel well informed about the risks of cybercrime, while 38 percent said they were very or fairly well informed.

The European Commission said there was “a clear link between being well informed and feeling confident online”. Over half of those who were confident in their ability to do online banking or buying things on the Internet said they felt well informed about cybercrime.

Three-quarters said the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased in the past year.

“While ever more people are making the most out of the Internet and benefit from the digital economy, it is not surprising that security of personal information and online payments top the list of our concerns,” said Cecilia Malmström, EU commissioner for home affairs.

“What is more surprising is that only half of Europeans take effective measures to protect themselves from cybercrime.”

Are you a fearless security guru? Try our quiz!