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Retailers ‘must raise cyber game to win holiday shoppers’


Fears of online fraud peak during the festive season, a survey finds, with only 9 per cent of consumers saying they have “full trust” in businesses managing their data.

By Christine Chen 12 minute read

Retailers that want to win over customers this holiday season should raise their cyber security game, a survey suggests, after finding that consumers increasingly base shopping decisions on reliability and digital safety.

The survey by software company Ping Identity found anxieties over online fraud were “soaring” with 44 per cent of consumers reporting they were more concerned about cyber fraud during the festive season than at other times of the year.

Regional sales vice-president Ashley Diffey said recent high-profile cyber breaches involving Medibank and Optus had made consumers acutely aware of the risk of cyber fraud and scams.


“It has them worried,” he said. “In recent years, Australians have embraced online shopping wholeheartedly … they want to continue to enjoy the convenience of shopping online, particularly over the holiday season, but they also want assurance that the information they share with retailers is secure.”

Mr Diffey said this year consumers would exercise more caution than ever around online purchasing and the retailers with whom they shared data.

This was reflected in Ping Identity’s survey of 1,600 shoppers with 45 per cent saying they only planned to shop at “reputable stores” and over one-third on the lookout for suspicious phishing links.

Only 9 per cent of consumers said they had “full trust” in organisations that managed their data and 48 per cent were still uncomfortable with giving retailers personal information, such as gender, age, phone number and date of birth.

“Many Australians have learnt the hard way that the personal information they share with businesses can be compromised,” Mr Diffey said.

But retailers could win over consumers’ trust by addressing these fears. 

“To retain their confidence and trust, retailers need to create easy, secure and personalised buying experiences that alleviate security concerns, without collecting too much personal data,” he said.

One-half of respondents said they felt more secure when businesses used multi-factor authentication and 53 per cent said it gave them a better view of the business as it suggested “protecting their data was a priority”.

Similarly, one-half of respondents said retailers’ websites that used one-time log-in codes, through either text or email, increased their comfort level when shopping online.

The survey also found that 41 per cent of respondents would feel more protected against online fraud if retailers offered biometric authentication.

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Christine Chen

Christine Chen


Christine Chen is a graduate journalist at Accountants Daily and Accounting Times, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting sector.

Previously, Christine has written for City Hub, the South Sydney Herald and Honi Soit. She has also produced online content for LegalVision and completed internships at EY and Deloitte.

Christine has a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is studying a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Sydney. 

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