Shoppers Are Willing To Take Online Risks During Holiday Season, Study Finds

Holiday shoppers are so driven to buy gifts that 34% will take unnecessary risks online, according to the 2022 Norton Cyber Safety Report, conducted by The Harris Poll. 

Of the Americans surveyed, 34% have done risky things. And they have paid the price: 36% of American shoppers have been victimized by online scams, for an average loss of $387 in U.S. dollars.

Of these ripoffs, 43% of those seen globally occurred via email. That total rises to 58% in Japan, but is 40% in the U.S. 

Worldwide, email is followed by social media (37%), text (27%), third-party websites (27%) and phone calls (23%). 

Perhaps because of their risk-taking, consumers are worried. Their main concerns are: 

- My personal details (e.g., address, credit card, email, etc.) being compromised — 72%



- Being the victim of a cybercrime — 62%

- Being scammed by a third-party retailer — 58%

- A device I buy as a gift for someone being digitally unsafe (e.g., not secure, prone to hacking, etc.) — 54%

- Unintentionally receiving a counterfeit version of a gift — 53%

- A device I receive as a gift from someone being hacked — 51%

- My holiday travel arrangements or accommodations being ruined by a scammer — 50%

- Buying or receiving a refurbished device as a gift — 46%

But those fears aren’t stopping them from taking risky actions.

Of the U.S. consumers polled, 17% would give away personal information to obtain a high demand gift or toy, 12% would share their name, email or birthdate and 9% would provide the personal details of a friend or family member to snare a high-demand gift. 

Moreover, 41% of U.S. consumers have risked their security during the holiday season by posting a picture of an expensive gift they received (19%) or of their travel destination (18%). 

In addition, 18% have tagged their current location on social media and 13% have posted a picture their travel destination without removing personal information.  

"Now more than ever, many are willing to do whatever it takes online to save on big ticket holiday items, even if it puts them at risk," says Kevin Roundy, researcher and senior technical director, NortonLifeLock. "The past frenzy of lining up outside stores early to grab must-have holiday gifts has mostly moved online."

"Inflation and cost-cutting has pushed more Americans to look for discounts, with three-quarters of U.S. adults (77%) willing to take any action to cut costs this holiday season.,” Roundy says.

The Harris Poll surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in August 2022. 

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