news u s shoppers driven to buy based on price not security of websites
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Buyer beware: Shoppers driven to buy based on price, not security of websites

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As 112 million U.S. shoppers prepare to embark on the biggest bargain hunts of the year, a leading cybersecurity company reminds Americans to be wary when it comes to holiday shopping.

Research from NordVPN revealed that 37 percent of Americans have been scammed while shopping online — equivalent to 95.6 million people.

With Black Friday less than a week away, cyber scammers have their sights on the four in five Americans who might take part in the event — 43.2 percent of U.S. shoppers say they’ll head online for Cyber Monday, Black Friday or the Christmas sales, with 37.7 percent undecided.

The task of online criminals is being made easier by the millions of U.S. consumers prepared to offer up a treasure trove of personal information in exchange for an extra markdown or freebie – and those who have already been scammed are at the front of the queue, according to a news release from NordVPN.

“Black Friday is a honeypot for scammers so the 112 million Americans preparing to attack the biggest bargain hunts of the year had better be on their guard,” said Marijus Briedis, chief technology officer at NordVPN. “It’s vital to pay attention to the security certificates on websites and be wary of any site asking for details that they just don’t need. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

Of those people who have previously experienced a scam, many admit they’d still be prepared to hand over a bunch of bizarrely irrelevant information to get a big discount or freebie.

The study also revealed that 18.8 percent of Americans consider the security of websites their lowest priority when shopping online. By comparison, price was the biggest driver, with 30.1 percent of people choosing it as their main concern.

 

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.