E-commerce sales have experienced consistent revenue increases. However, recent security breaches (online and offline) are having a significant impact on buying patterns of U.S. adults. Due to consumer’s concerns about the security of the Internet, nearly $2 billion in U.S. e-commerce sales will be lost in 2006, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

According to the Gartner survey of 5,000 online U.S. adults in August 2006, approximately $913 million in 2006 e-commerce sales is lost because of security concerns among online shoppers. Another $1 billion is lost because of shoppers who refuse to shop online because of security concerns.

Nearly half of online U.S. adults, or 46% of more than 155 million people, say that concerns about theft of information, data breaches or Internet-based attacks have affected their purchasing payment, online transaction or e-mail behavior. Of all the behaviors affected, online commerce (including online banking, online payments and online shopping) is suffering the highest toll.

Gartner estimates that these security concerns have kept approximately 33 million U.S. adults from banking online. According to the survey, nearly 9 million U.S. adults have stopped online banking altogether, while another estimated 23.7 million won’t start because of their security concerns.

Perhaps the biggest impact is a newfound and serious consumer distrust of e-mail. Nearly 70% of online consumers whose behavior has been affected by recent security incidents say that their concerns have affected their trust in e-mail from companies or individuals they don't know personally. Of these, more than 85% delete suspect mail without opening it.

Related Link: Gartner Identity & Access Management Summit