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London, UK – February 26 2008 – It’s easy, it’s convenient and doesn’t involve battling the high streets but how many of the UK’s 27 million e-shoppers actually know a secure website when they see one?

As concern grows about the security of data, a survey conducted by UK managed hosting company NetBenefit reveals that over 80% of consumers are concerned over the security of their financial data when shopping online. Whilst approximately half of those surveyed said they would be prepared to spend up to £500 online, 70% of shoppers don’t understand the significance of the green browser bar and 20% of those questioned do not understand what the golden security padlock represents.

Jonathan Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, NetBenefit says “Secure website technology has been in place for some time now but it is staggering to find that so few consumers actually know how to make sure a website is secure. The industry has put standards in place to provide the online shopper with confidence but in actual fact many shoppers simply do not know what they are supposed to be looking for.”

With an estimated ecommerce spend of £84 million in the UK on Christmas Day alone*, shopping online has never been more popular. However, NetBenefit is urging the UK’s 27 million e-shoppers to ensure they shop ‘e-safely’ in 2008 by following a few simple guidelines.

Robinson explains, “Consumers should look out for the golden padlock. This will be displayed next to the browser bar and it contains details of the website’s security report. Jonathan Robinson adds, “If you have any doubts about the website that you are visiting, look for the golden padlock and just right click to find out whether the certificate owner and the website match.” If the security certificate has an extra level of validation in the shape of an Extended Validation certificate then the browser bar will turn green.

Robinson continues: “Online shopping has its challenges for even the most savvy of online shoppers. Bad experiences such as snail-like speeds during the purchase are just as frustrating as a long wait at the till but poor security can be tantamount to leaving your purse or wallet at the checkout.

“It is of the utmost importance that internet users start to check up on their favourite shopping sites’ security and if it’s not up to scratch then walk – or click -- away. The consumer needs to vote with their mouse as only then will the UK’s 62,000-plus internet traders take the shopper’s experience and safety more seriously.”

*IMRG

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For further information please contact Jonathan Bawden or Emily Gallagher, Portfolio Communications – 0207 240 6959 or netbenefit@portoliocomms.com


Notes to Editors:

About NetBenefit
NetBenefit is part of London listed Group NBT plc (LSE: NBT.). Established in 1995, NetBenefit is an experienced provider of Managed Hosting services in the UK, with a range of services to suit every level of business. Its world-class network infrastructure allows it to guarantee resilient, available and secure Managed Hosting for businesses that need a hosting provider they can depend upon.

Group NBT plc is a leading provider of domain name management and Internet-related services through the three trading brands, NetNames, NetBenefit and Easily.co.uk. Group NBT has over 200 employees and is based in London with offices in Copenhagen, New York, Nice, Frankfurt, Munich and Madrid.

For further information about NetBenefit or GroupNBT please visit www.netbenefit.com or www.groupnbt.com

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