By Kelly Santos | November 18th, 2014 | Digital Privacy, Identity Theft
During the holiday shopping season, millions of Americans will take advantage of the convenience, speed and ease of online shopping: Spot it, love it, click it, and it’s on the way.
A recent survey found that 77 percent of respondents said they shop on the Internet, and the National Retail Federation predicts online sales during November and December to jump 8 to 11 percent from 2013, accounting for $105 billion.
Yet Americans have mixed feelings about the act of using credit or debit cards to buy something online: Many consumers—more than half (56 percent) of respondents—already have experienced information compromise in a retail breach, according to the survey by the Identity Theft Resource Center, sponsored by IDT911.
Plus, more than 59 percent of people are either “extremely concerned” (26.2 percent) or “moderately concerned” (32.9 percent) that shopping online will put them at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, the survey said.
High-profile data breaches at major retailers recently also have put a damper on shoppers’ holiday cheer, whether it’s online or off-line. When we asked respondents how concerned they were about identity theft originating from a breach at retailers such as Target, Michaels, Nordstrom or Home Depot, 39.8 percent said they were “extremely concerned.”
With all this fretting, you’d think consumers would be on high alert, checking their credit card and banking statements more often and keeping personal data close to the chest. But 41.6 percent of respondents said they didn’t check such statements more often during the holidays compared with other times of the year. And while online shopping, many consumers have or are willing to share unnecessary pieces of personally identifiable information:
IDT911 has a few simple suggestions for online shoppers this holiday season:
Finally, if you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft or wish to proactively manage your identity, check with your insurance company, financial institution, or employee benefits provider. Many companies offer LifeStages™ Identity Management Services from IDT911 for low or no cost. To learn more, call 1-888-820-5959.