49% of Americans Think Websites Ask for Way Too Much Information

Holiday Shopping And Security Survey

HostingAdvice curates the best coupons and cash back browser extensions that help shoppers keep information more private.

As holiday shopping comes to a close, procrastinating shoppers eager to secure the last online shopping deals can get more careless with their spending and personal information. A shopping survey from HostingAdvice found that more than half of Americans (53%) said their biggest privacy concern when visiting a small business website is that their personal data may get sold to a third party.

Other online privacy concerns include:

  • 49% — They ask for too much information
  • 39% — The website doesn’t use encryption/HTTPS
  • 33% — Adware (unsolicited popup ads)
  • 26% — No anonymity
Bar chart of biggest concerns of online privacy

The survey also revealed a whopping 90% of Americans said they will be doing holiday shopping online this year. With so many consumers shopping online, there are sure to be security issues. In fact, 75% of those surveyed said they are concerned with visiting websites that do not look secure, and of those, 58% said their biggest security concern is making “insecure transactions.” Others are worried about fake websites (55%) or phishing attacks (51%).

44% of Consumers Rely on Payment Apps to Keep Their Data Safe

Another recent holiday shopping survey from HostingAdvice found that 44% of consumers said they rely on payment apps to keep their data safe when making purchases from a website.

There are a number of tools and browser extensions that offer information and services that help online shoppers avoid providing their personal information. Besides using payment apps for your purchases, cash back and coupon browser extensions are perfect tools for finding rewards and promo codes without having to create accounts with multiple retailers, thus protecting your privacy while you try to find deals and save money on your holiday gifts.

Some of the best cash coupon and cash back browser extensions include:

  1. Rakuten: Predominantly used for cash back, it also helps you find coupons and other deals while you shop at thousands of stores.
  2. Capital One Shopping: Saves you money by alerting you about deals, discounts, and price comparisons from premier retailers that Capital One works with. You can earn rewards to redeem for gift cards.
  3. RetailMeNot: Finds promo codes and cash back offers, and applies valid ones to your shopping cart at hundreds of retail stores.
  4. Smarty: This free mobile app and web browser extension automatically adds promo codes to shopping carts and alerts members to available cash back from thousands of retailers in the US and abroad. SmartyPlus subscription members earn double cash back and receive price and shipping/return protections.
  5. Honey: Automatically seeks out promo codes for more than 30,000 online retailers and applies the one with the biggest discount. Users can receive cash back in the form of gift cards.
  6. SwagBucks: The SwagButton extension shows members whether cash back or coupon codes are available from the retail site they are shopping at.
  7. CamelCamelCamel: Offers a free browser extension called The Camelizer that lets you see a product’s price history directly from Amazon without having to visit a separate page. It also lets you import your Amazon wish list and will alert you when the price of any product on it drops.
  8. Fakespot: Analyzes reviews on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, TripAdvisor, Sephora, Steam, or Yelp to look for suspicious patterns that suggest the reviews are fake and grades them for how trustworthy they are. It also highlights the most important points made in the legitimate reviews and checks ratings for eBay and third-party sellers on Amazon.

Save Money, Shop Safer

As online holiday shopping comes to a close, don’t forget to keep your wits about you. Practice these tips for smarter, safer shopping.

  1. Only shop on websites that use HTTPS encryption.
  2. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true.
  3. Use payment apps, such as PayPal, to protect your credit card information.
  4. Use browser extensions to vet the best deals.

Securing last-minute deals from unsecured websites isn’t worth the headache of stolen credit card information. Instead, use the browser extensions and tools above to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, without getting swindled by scammers.

Survey Methodology

A national online survey of 1,036 U.S. consumers, ages 18 and over, was conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of HostingAdvice in October 2023. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region, and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.