Survey: 91 Percent Of Online Shoppers Handle Passwords In Unsafe Manner

The results of a nationwide survey of online shoppers recently released by Guard ID Systems, Inc. found that 91 percent of those surveyed handle their account credentials in an unsafe manner, specifically storing passwords on their computers, writing passwords on paper and using the same usernames and/or passwords for multiple shopping accounts.

With the holidays just around the corner, shoppers will hit the online shops in record numbers, providing cyber criminals with significant opportunities to attack carefree consumers and steal their personal financial information through a wide range of malware, fraudulent Web sites and phishing attacks. According to the survey, 74 percent of online shoppers have received e-mail-based phishing attacks, and 50 percent said that they were fooled, or nearly fooled, by a phishing e-mail. Despite this fact, one-third of those surveyed would shop at an unfamiliar site if it offered good prices.

"Online shoppers are more vulnerable to identity theft during the holidays, as cyber criminals are working overtime to take advantage of shoppers who aren't careful in securing their online identities," said Jerry Thompson, CEO of Guard ID Systems. "These survey results highlight the need for consumers to immediately secure their account credentials, and to protect themselves against phishing attacks. We designed ID Vault to do just that."

According to the survey, 40 percent of respondents shopped online during Thanksgiving weekend to take advantage of special Web-only offers, and 43 percent of respondents plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping online. Despite their willingness to shop online, the survey also found that 80 percent of shoppers are concerned that shopping online may increase their chances of being victims of identity theft; one in three online shoppers surveyed has been a victim, or knows someone who has been a victim, of identity theft.

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