Britons still don't trust the Web - but it's all in the mind

Survey: Almost half of the UK's Internet users have an 'irrational fear' of the Internet, which can be overcome with reassurance from e-tailers and credit card companies

Almost 70 percent of UK Internet users don't believe it is safe to use a credit card online, while around 40 percent have an irrational fear of the Internet, according to a survey published by Visa on Monday.

Visa, along with Barclaycard, started testing a portable credit card reader that is designed to work with the new chip and PIN credit and debit cards to help prevent fraud and reduce exposure to phishing attacks.

The survey's results indicate that both Barclaycard and Visa needed to strengthen the security of credit card transactions in order to persuade more people to shop online.

According to the survey, although most Internet users have made at least one online purchase, 69 percent of users didn't think online retailers were doing enough to make users feel safe.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents admitted to having an "irrational fear" of the Internet.

This could be because entering credit card details online feels like "a dangerous public disclosure" according to Dr Cynthia McVey, a psychologist at Glasgow University.

"People need to be reassured that safeguards are in place and that the card providers continuously monitor the situation and understand their fears. The anxieties arise from the feeling we're not as intimately involved in the purchase as we are when standing at the counter," said McVey.