Women 'face higher online card fraud risk'

By UK CreditCards.com

Young females are most likely to fall foul of credit card fraudsters, say researchers, because many of them fail to adopt simple security measures.

Now, an annual campaign has been re-launched in a bid to encourage women to stay safe when shopping over the internet. The 'Be Card Smart Online' campaign is promoting basic guidelines that women -- and indeed men -- should follow when doing their Christmas shopping. 

online-shopping

Christmas shoppers expected to spend more this year
Britons may have tightened their belts in recent months, but this does not seem to have dulled their enthusiasm for festive spending. Research by IMRG suggests that shoppers will spend 14% more online this Christmas than last year.

It seems that many consumers enjoy the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their own homes and having the items delivered to their doorstep.

But many women show poor grasp of online security
Unfortunately, research by the National Fraud Authority suggests that many women do not take the necessary precautions when shopping online.

Just 8% of women between the ages of 26 and 35 update their anti-virus software on a regular basis. This means their credit card details could be stolen and used by fraudsters.

How to stay safe when shopping online
The UK Cards Association is running its annual 'Be Card Smart Online' campaign to help shoppers stay safe online throughout the Christmas period and beyond. Firstly, the campaign urges people to ensure their anti-virus software is up-to-date and to turn on automatic updates.

When shopping online, consumers should ensure the website they are using displays the padlock symbol in the browser's address bar. This indicates that the retailer is reputable. They should also use a credit card that is registered with a scheme such as Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode. This provides an additional layer of security and reduces the risk of card fraud.

Finally, experts recommend that consumers log out after making a purchase online and save the confirmation email that is sent by the retailer.

"Christmas should be a time for taking things easy," said Katy Worobec, head of fraud control at the UK Cards Association. "But unfortunately fraudsters don't stop targeting our cards over the festive period. This is why we are urging anyone who is planning to shop online this Christmas not to be complacent about security. You are your own best front-line of defence and following Be Card Smart Online's simple steps can help prevent you becoming another fraud statistic."

See related: More shoppers are buying presents online; Consumers using smartphones to shop

Published: 28 November 2011