YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had your fill of turkey, the games have been played, Black Friday has come and gone, but you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lost your appetite to shop.
A record 129.2 million Americans are expected to shop online this Cyber Monday, up from the 122.8 million who shopped last year, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGinsight.
The same survey finds the number of shoppers planning to use their smartphones or other mobile device this Cyber Monday has increased by 14.4 percent to 20.4 million, from 17.8 million in 2011. In fact, in just three years, the number of Americans saying they would use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday has jumped from just 3.6 million in 2009 to 20.4 million in 2012.
All of this means that as we make our holiday purchases, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re opening ourselves up to many risks, including identity theft and fraud.
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) warns that many criminals have found using the internet to be an easier and less riskier way to target victims.
The ITRC notes that some of the issues holiday shoppers will face this year are:
–Exposing themselves to identity theft while using public Wi-Fi to shop online.
–Engaging in deals that are just Ã¢â‚¬Å“too good to be trueÃ¢â‚¬ .
–Using debit cards at a POS terminal rather than credit cards, exposing themselves to greater risk.
While online shopping is both easy and convenient, consumers should take necessary precautions to protect their data and financial assets.
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) offers some timely tips to help protect your identity this holiday season.