Brits want e-retailers to be responsible for security

The majority of British surfers blame themselves when it comes to problems with online security, according to a new survey commissioned by Oracle.

The research by Foviance found that 70 per cent of surveyed UK shoppers accepted their culpability over IT security problems.

It also revealed that many shoppers weren't interested in understanding online security at all, describing a "frightening" lack of awareness.

Marty Carroll, director of Foviance, told IT PRO that online shoppers wanted the onus taken away from them and would prefer if the retailer or vendor took over complete responsibility.

He said: "They just want to be protected and get on with what they are doing."

Carroll also said that many people used words like 'malware' and 'phishing', but didn't actually understand what the words meant.

He said: "Although some of them were quite articulate about their fears, many people didn't understand what they actually were."

The survey also revealed that security protocols - complex or otherwise - were apparently encouraging internet users to indulge in "risky habits".

One example was of a lady who kept a password diary' that was kept on a coffee table at home, with all of her passwords from all of the sites that she used, from online banking to retail, email and social networking.

A second person revealed that they wrote their username and password on their bank statements and utility bills.

Carroll said: "These people are unapologetic about it, because what they've said was that organisations were forcing them to do this."

"There are so many passwords out there and protocols for selecting passwords so cumbersome that they have to engage in risky behaviour."

However, the research did also say that 24.9 per cent would blame a website, brand or technology if they had problems logging in.

One in ten people actually left a vendor for another because of frustrating security procedures, and 31 per cent of people would use a site less frequently because of frustrations with online transactions.

The study looked at 550 UK respondents, and asked a sub-group of 24 people about their experience of real-life security situations.