Small Business Reading Room

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Trust in Internet Sites Declines

According to a poll released by Consumer Reports WebWatch an alarming percentage of web users have modified their behavior in response to growing fears of identity theft, data insecurity, fraud and malware.

  • 30 percent say they have reduced their overall use of the Internet.

  • A majority of Internet users (53 percent) say they have stopped giving out personal information on the Internet.

  • 25 percent say they have stopped buying things online. • 54 percent of those who shop online report they have become more likely to read a site’s privacy policy or user agreement before buying.

  • 29 percent of those who shop online say they have cut back on how often they buy on the Internet.

This poll simply measured the fear. It did not measure the risk. In fact, a Federal Trade Commission expert presenter at the press release indicated that only 2.2 percent of all identity theft was perpetrated with information gained from the Internet.

Most identity theft involves friends and family or a lost or stolen card. The threats from malware and data insecurity are harder to quantify, but I doubt they have gone down recently.

Most importantly for the small business person setting up an internet business are the factors the respondents mentioned as important in determining if a site could be trusted. From the Trust & Credibility Online Section of the poll:

  • 88 percent say keeping personal information safe and secure is very important for a Web site they visit.

  • Being able to trust the information on a site is not far behind, with 81 percent saying it is very important, little changed from 80 percent in the 2002 survey.

  • 76 percent say it is very important to be able to easily identify the sources of information on the site, up 8 percentage point.

  • 73 percent rate knowing a site is updated frequently with new information as very important, also up 8 percentage points.

  • More surprisingly (to the pollsters), 48 percent say knowing who owns a Web site is very important, up 16 points.

The Survey did not address how respondents evaluated these factors. When designing a web presence, it would be wise to keep these things in mind.


Post a Comment

link to Atom Feed




Delaware Intercorp, Inc.
113 Barksdale Professional center
Newark, DE 19711-3258

"For all the best reasons to incorporate,the best place
is Delaware and the best incorporator is
Delaware Intercorp!"

Call Monday - Friday 09:00 (am) - 17:00 (pm) Eastern Time (GMT-05:00)

Toll Free - USA only - 888.324.1817
International: (1) 302.266.9367
FAX: 302.266.9940