Online behaviors that increase the risk of identity theft
Posted on 16 December 2013.
PrivacyGuard released the results of a survey aimed at observing and identifying a number of online behaviors that consumers willingly partake in that could put them at risk of fraud and identity theft.

The survey identified five behaviors and asked a panel of 1,000 consumers whether they had performed any of the following potentially jeopardizing behaviors:
  • Made a purchase over Public WiFi
  • Made an online purchase using a payment method other than a credit card
  • Ordered an item from a website they were unfamiliar with
  • Had overlap in the passwords they use for online accounts
  • Had their billing info stored at more than 10 eTailers (or not know how many sites had their billing info stored)
Based on the results of the survey, a majority of consumers (more than 66%) participated in at least 2 behaviors that put them potentially at risk. Even more alarmingly, less than 6% of consumers were exhibiting safe behaviors in all 5 categories.

"Online fraud and identity theft can never be completely prevented, but there are a number of simple steps that consumers can take to make it harder for thieves to operate," said Vin Torcasio, Director of Product for PrivacyGuard. "Our research indicates that a huge number of consumers could be doing more to be better protected."

Of the behaviors identified, more than 60% of consumers acknowledged having an overlap in their online passwords, shopping at an unfamiliar website and using something other than a credit card for online purchases.

Regularly checking your credit report and monitoring your credit scores can work to identity signs of identity theft and fraud. Credit monitoring can detect and alert you to certain changes in your credit files across the three major US credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.





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