With the Christmas shopping season over, Americans admit to being less comfortable using their credit cards online than in past years as their worries about identity theft remain high.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 49 percent of adults say they are at least somewhat comfortable using credit cards for online purchases, down 11 points from this time last year. Nearly as many, 47 percent are not comfortable using their credit cards for online purchases.
The new findings includes 24 percent who are very comfortable using their credit cards online and 21 percent who are not at all comfortable.
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The comfort level is much higher among those who use the Internet every day or nearly every day. But even among those who are online several times a week, there is a wariness about using their credit cards on the Internet.
Twelve percent (12 percent) of adults say they have had credit card information stolen online. Eighty percent (80 percent) have not had that problem. These figures are unchanged from a year ago.
Also basically unchanged is the finding that 84 percent of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about identity theft. That includes 46 percent who are very concerned.
Sixteen percent (16 percent) say they have been victims of identity theft, while 78 percent have not.
Younger Americans and those with higher incomes are more comfortable using their credit cards online than are older adults who earn less.
Forty-nine percent (49 percent) said they did at least some of their holiday shopping online this year, although only two percent (2 percent) said they did all their shopping that way. Fifty-one percent (51 percent) of adults pay their credit cards in full each month, thereby avoiding any interest payments, but nearly as many (45 percent) sometimes carry a balance on their cards. Eighty-three percent (83 percent) acknowledge that credit cards tempt people to buy things they can’t afford.
Forty-five percent (45 percent) of Americans believe a cyberattack by terrorist hackers poses a greater economic threat to the United States than another 9/11 attack on New York City and Washington, D.C.