Many internet users do not carry out online shopping or banking, because they are afraid of security holes in the internet. According to the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), one in six German internet users even do not carry out any internet transactions at all. About 16 million avoid online banking. The biggest distrust, however, is displayed when it comes to sending important documents: of the 49 million internet users in Germany about 20 million prefer to send them by post instead of by email despite a loss of money and time.
About one quarter of users do without online shopping, about one fifth do not book trips and tickets online. Just 20% are convinced that their transactions on the internet are secure. The above figures are based on a survey carried out by the Aris market research institute on behalf of BITKOM. In the course of this study, 1000 Germany older than 13 were interviewed.
According to the findings of this study, 81% of users have antivirus software installed on their computers, but only 55% a firewall which monitors external data traffic and controls it according to fixed rules.
Alarmingly high is the number of users which have already been harmed: 29% of respondents said that they had already suffered financial damage when using the internet for online auctions or online banking due to e.g. viruses. Most victims (18%) suffered damage as a consequence of viruses which affected the functioning of their computers that had to be newly configured or even be replaced. 4% of users said that they suffered damage during online shopping or auctions, because they did, e.g. receive goods other than those ordered or goods of low quality. Goods news is the fact that only 0.6% of victims suffered damage through online banking.
According to BITKOM, the reasons for this increase in the number of people suffering financial losses trough internet use are a professionalization of internet criminals, an increased number of malware programmes, more inexperienced users and more dubious offers on the internet.