DALLAS – A new survey of Internet users shows that security concerns are now driving some consumers away from online banking. The nationwide poll of Internet users conducted by an independent research firm for Entrust Inc. found that 18% of all respondents said they had decreased their use of online banking or stopped it completely because of fears of identity theft and phishing. Entrust, a provider of solutions for securing digital information, says the results validate calls for improved sign-on security beyond user name and password, such as that recently issued by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. The survey also found that one in three consumers were worried about phishing and other scams involving false Web sites. Meanwhile, a whopping 94% of consumers would be willing to use stronger authentication measures, the company said the survey showed, while 81% said they would not be willing to pay any increased costs for increased security. “The concern around online identity attacks and fraud continues to be high, with increasing numbers staying away from banking via the Internet,” said Kevin Simzer, senior vice president at Dallas-based Entrust (www.entrust.com). “The urgency of this problem demands immediate action, especially when considering the financial impact of consumers reverting to more expensive channels to conduct their banking transactions.” The survey was conducted by InfoSurv Inc. during the week of Oct. 17 and included 710 respondents.

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