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Experienced Users Less Concerned with Security

Many users still wary of Web safety

March 25, 2010

According to the first “Internet Trust Index Report” from Internet infrastructure provider VeriSign, trust levels with Web security vary widely among users, with an average US index of 61.5 out of 100.

Users who have been on the Web for longest are most comfortable. Respondents who had been online for at least five years felt more than twice the level of trust as those who had been connected for only six months or less.

US Internet Users' Level of Trust in the Internet, by Experience Online , December 2009 (index*)

Frequency of usage also played a part in how safe users felt on the Web. Users who log on at least three times a week, who are on average 42 years old, scored a trust level of 80. Infrequent users, who surf less than once weekly and have an average age of 56, indexed at just 24.

Overall, consumers expressed the most concern about conducting financial transactions online, including banking and bill pay. E-mail was a greater concern than online shopping, perhaps because of the wealth of personal data contained in e-mail accounts. And 28% of adults reported being “extremely concerned” about conducting online shopping or selling.

Degree to Which US Adults Are Concerned About Conducting Select Online Activities , December 2009 (% of respondents)

“Trust is the currency with which Web sites build lasting relationships with consumers. Without it, people and organizations won't freely share information or purchase online,” said Mark McLaughlin, president and CEO of VeriSign, in a statement.

A 2009 study on privacy from Nokia Siemens Networks found that Web users were most concerned about identity theft, with 24% considering that the worst misuse of their online information possible. The misuse of financial information, along with the security of credit card and social security numbers, Internet community passwords and credit history were also critical worries.

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Check out today’s other article, “Mobile App Forecast Up, Up, Up.”


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