NW_20081209_en_Keep Personal Data Safe While Shopping Online This Christmas

December 9, 2008

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., and ZURICH, Switzerland,9 December 2008 - VASCO Data Security International, Inc. (Nasdaq: VDSI) (www.vasco.com), a leading software security company specializing in authentication products, is helping consumers to mitigate against cyber-crime in the build-up to the festive season, by providing advice on how to stay safe when shopping online. Research from various industry sources indicates that online shopping will be increasingly popular this year. With consumers conscious of the current economic climate, many are looking for the best deals online, which, combined with easy-to-use online transaction processes, will drive more Christmas shoppers to buy via the online channel.

To help consumers avoid the potential pitfalls of online shopping, VASCO advises that they should:

  • Buy from a trusted website: Are you buying from a trusted brand? Can you tell where the company you are buying from is based? Does the site provide you with contact details or an after sales service number? Are sale conditions available and printable? Do other online shoppers recommend this site?

  • Make sure that they buy trusted products: Is the product legal in your country? Are you sure it is not a counterfeit product? Do you have sufficient information about the product? And is the product traceable?

  • Make sure that their personal details are protected: Before you validate a transaction, or verify your personal details, make sure you know how your personal details will be used (promotional purposes from the website, shared with related third parties and so on).

  • Make sure that online payments are done in a secure environment: Use secure and trusted payment systems such as Digipass authentication to prevent fraudsters from accessing your personal and financial details.

According to Interactive Media in Retail Group and CapGemini, online Christmas shopping in the UK will increase by 15% during the 2008 festive season. Shoppers will on average spend £215 online during the holiday season. In France, online sales increased by 30% during the first quarter of 2008 (Fevad) and two out of five people in France buy online. In Brazil, 12 million people are estimated to shop online in 2008 (e-bit), and the revenues from online shopping are estimated to increase by 35%. The most popular Christmas gifts shopped for online are: electronics (17%), books & magazines (16%), IT gadgets (13%), mobile phones (11%), DVDs and CDs (11%). In the US, Forrester predicts that online retail sales will grow by 12% during the holiday season.

A trend identified by the ISACA (Information Systems Auditing and Control Association) indicates that the majority of the online Christmas shoppers will do their shopping from work. Although companies usually condone online personal activity during work hours, few are actually aware of the negative impact it might have on their business. The threat for companies usually comes after employees have visited malicious sites, thus exposing the company’s network to malware, bots, phishing attempts and an increased exposure of the e-mail server to spam.

VASCO Data Security provides a wide range of solutions to secure online transactions. Whether it is for executing online bill payments with your bank or doing business online, VASCO provides tailored solutions to protect financial transactions online. For retail online, DIGIPASS® for Web provides a suitable answer to protect the millions of Christmas shoppers from fraudulent intensions such as phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.

VASCO’s DIGIPASS for Web is a software based strong authentication solution. It is ideal to replace static password-based security with a higher security level and well suited for users who do Internet banking, subscribe to online newspapers or users who occasionally do small purchases or transactions online. A level of security is offered which exceeds the security level provided by static password systems and it is extremely easy to use.

“When you provide your personal data on a website, such as your credit card details, there is always a risk that this information could be intercepted by criminals who want to misuse the information for their personal benefit. As the specialist in securing online transactions, it is VASCO’s ongoing responsibility to educate consumers on the risks of conducting transactions on line, and help them to mitigate those risks. With the expected increase of online sales during the holiday season, this is as good a time as any to remind consumers to be extra vigilant, and for VASCO to pro-actively provide them with advice about how to ensure their online Christmas shopping is conducted safely and securely”, said Jan Valcke, President and COO of VASCO Data Security.

VASCO is a leading supplier of strong authentication and e-signature solutions and services specialising in Internet Security applications and transactions. VASCO has positioned itself as global software company for Internet Security serving a customer base of approximately 8,000 companies in more than 100 countries, including more than 1,200 international financial institutions. VASCO’s prime markets are the financial sector, enterprise security, e-commerce and e-government.

Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this news release that relate to future plans, events or performances are forward-looking statements. Any statement containing words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar words, is forward-looking, and these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations. Consequently, actual results could differ materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements.

Reference is made to the Company's public filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for further information regarding the Company and its operations.

This document may contain trademarks of VASCO Data Security International, Inc. and its subsidiaries, which include VASCO, the VASCO “V” design, DIGIPASS, VACMAN, aXs GUARD and IDENTIKEY

For more information contact:
Jochem Binst, +32 2 609 97 00, [email protected]