The Consumer Council of Fiji has received a total of 283 complaints from consumers over the past 4 years in relation to identity theft and fraudulent online shopping websites.
This has been highlighted by the council Senior Manager Corporate Bindula Devi saying that the number of complaints received were due to lack of online security.
While speaking during World Consumer Rights Day celebrations, Devi says this is also due to the gullible consumers not being aware of the risk of using the Internet especially when sharing personal information with businesses in the virtual world.
She says the need to protect consumers arises largely because of the imbalance in power as well as in technical knowledge which puts consumers in a disadvantaged position.
Devi says financial institutions such as banks have some privacy and security policies however the level of consumer data protection is still unclear.
She says companies need to make provisions for consumers to take control of their security before they suffer a breach.
Devi adds Internet service providers in Fiji need to provide better services and focus on online security.
She says there is lack of cyber knowledge in Fiji and relevant stakeholders are responsible for educating consumers on how to stay secure online and how to manage passwords and mobile device protections.