Internet users have been put off buying online because of a perceived risk of fraud and internet security threats.

A survey carried out for Symantec of 2500 UK adults found that two-thirds of them believed that making transactions online puts them at an increased risk of online fraud, while just under a third say that security threats prevent them from making more online transactions.

The research suggests that businesses should do more to guarantee compensation if identity or money is stolen from an online transaction, as 77% of those surveyed said they would then be more encouraged to spend online.

Sixty-nine per cent of them would feel more comfortable carrying out the transactions if they were assured that online retailers were taking steps to secure they're data.

However, online businesses still have to win some consumers over.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they had no plans to spend more than about £100 a month online, and nearly 50% said they prefer to shop on the high street.

“The results from this study clearly demonstrate that consumers are desperate for a confidence boost from the businesses that they are transacting with online”, said Lee Sharrocks, Consumer Sales Director, Symantec UK.

“Despite the high-levels of online activities, it seems that customers are curtailing their spending because of fears about security.”

Business are responsible for securing personal data, say 30%, while 40% believe that compensation should be made by online retailers rather than from the bank or credit card company.

Other results from the research show that 46% of those questioned pay bills online; 52% book holidays online; and 1 in 10 gamble.

Worryingly, around 43% said they'd received phishing emails claiming to be from their bank.