SOCIETY

Most Greeks wary of using web for banking, shopping

Greek web users are by and large distrustful of online stores, and generally skeptical about making online transactions, a recent survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission found.

The Eurobarometer survey showed that Greeks? attitudes toward the Internet are affected by a lack of trust, especially when it comes to their rights as consumers. This sense of insecurity is compounded by users also feeling that they lack the technical knowledge or experience to use certain websites safely and effectively.

Specifically, 62 percent of Greeks said they feel uncertain about their own skills in using the Internet for online banking transactions or purchases, while 72 percent admit that they are not well informed of the dangers of cyber crimes. Meanwhile, an overwhelming number of Greeks feel that they are at risk of falling victim to a cyber scam, and even more so today.

Almost half of users (45 percent) stated that their main fear while using the Internet is that their personal data might be stolen or abused, while security in online payments is a concern for 25 percent of Greek users.

More than half the respondents in the Eurobarometer survey, or 54 percent, said that they would rather conduct their transactions and purchases in person, so that they can ask questions, check the performance of the person with whom they are conducting the transaction and examine the quality of any purchases they make.

Regarding cyber crimes, 24 percent of Greeks said that they are worried about accidentally stumbling upon sites featuring child pornography. Another 21 percent are concerned about receiving e-mail messages from con artists demanding private data or bank account details, while 17 percent said that they fear being deceived while making online purchases and that the product they have bought will either never be delivered or will be a fake or different from the one advertised.

Nine in 10 Greek Internet users believe that you should never provide personal details online. On the other hand, just 36 percent have installed Internet protection software and 34 percent said they don?t open e-mails from senders they don?t recognize.

That Greeks are somewhat ignorant of safe Internet use is also revealed by the fact that only 33 percent of users are less likely to give their private information to a website asking for it, just 14 percent use different usernames and passwords for different sites, and 26 percent insist on only browsing websites that they are familiar with or that they know are safe.

Another interesting finding in the Eurobarometer survey is that Internet penetration in Greek households is below the average among the European Union?s 27 member states, with 27 percent of Greek users saying that they log on to the Internet several times a day, compared to an EU average of 39 percent. Another 11 percent of Greeks log on just once a day, compared to 14 percent of other Europeans, while the figure for users who log on only once a week is the same for Greeks and their European peers, at 3 percent.