Shopping online may be easier than braving the crowds of the mall, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to make sure that convenience doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come at the price of your identity.
An annual survey by internet security firm WebrootÃ‚ of more than 2,660 individuals in the U.S., UK and Australia, found that some of consumersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ online habits Ã¢â‚¬“ including using search engines and public WiFi for online gift buying Ã¢â‚¬“ may put them at risk.
It also found that one in seven respondents has already become a victim of credit, debit or PayPal account fraud this year.
In addition, 57 percent received phishing emails from bogus sources claiming to be a legitimate company Ã¢â‚¬“ a risk that increases around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Fortunately some online shoppers appear to be growing more vigilant.
A separate poll by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) found that the majority of Americans (64 percent) report they have not made an online purchase from a specific website because of security concerns.
When asked to explain why they did not make that purchase, 60 percent said it was because they were not sure if the site was secure, 51.4 percent were worried about providing information requested, and 48.4 percent felt a website more requested more information than was necessary for the transaction.
What about insurance? The good news is that identity theft may be covered by insurance. Some homeowners and auto policies include identity theft protection and resolution services at no additional cost.