Up to 85% of Internet Users Will Do Holiday Shopping Online in 2010

This year's Cyber Monday saw online shoppers set a new spending record, as they have every year since the term was coined in 2005. And the digital shopping spree isn't over yet. More than eight out of ten Internet users are looking to ecommerce sites for items on their gift list, according to a new international survey conducted by F-Secure*.

60 percent of those surveyed said they definitely plan to do holiday shopping online with another 25 percent saying that they may choose a digital shopping cart over a real one. And those who definitely plan to shop via the Internet seem to be hooked on the 24/7 convenience of online stores. 71 percent say they will do most of their shopping inside their web browser this year.

Even Facebook is now a destination for online bargain shoppers. One in three Internet users say that they will be looking for deals on the world's largest social network. "But the pursuit of bargains can lead some shoppers to take unnecessary risks," says F-Secure Security Advisor Sean Sullivan.

Most shoppers do make an effort to take security into account before they click "buy." 74 percent said that they check if a site is secure. However, 78 percent still use search engines to find gifts, potentially exposing users to disreputable sites or search engine optimization (SEO) attacks, which can lead to phishing scams and malware.

"The most popular search terms of the season often become lures used by cybercriminals. So be especially careful when searching for the gifts everyone has to have," says Sullivan. This season's most popular gift, according to shoppers surveyed, is likely to be Apple's iPad followed by the Kinect for Xbox 360.

"Stick to sites you trust and use the search tools on those sites to avoid dangerous search results," says Sullivan. "When you're not sure where a product is available, avoid unethical marketers and cybercrooks by using specialized search tools such as Google Product Search instead of a general Google search."


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