Don’t Fall for Identity Theft Hype!

Actual statistics about online Identity Theft
I found this today and thought I would share it here. It’s a summary from ABA Creative Web Services about a study done on online shopping and Internet-related fraud.
It is a commonly held belief that Internet use increases the chance of Identity theft. Thanks to a study by James Van Dyke this has all proven to be hype. Mr. Van Dyke had a hunch that the belief the Internet was causing an increase in identity theft and credit card fraud was not valid. The research he conducted debunks many of the myths between online activity and ID theft.

Van Dyke, a research analyst for Javelin Strategy and Research, found that using the Internet for bill paying and banking can reduce risk by up to 18 percent and potentially save consumers up to 60 hours of personal time and $1,100 in the cost of paper checks and postage. His report states that using the Internet for purchases and bill paying can significantly reduce the chance of identity theft. Many criminals get their information from very low tech methods such as thumbing through the trash or opening your mail.
If you can use a secure online method to pay bills, the chances of someone intercepting your information is slim to none. When you start with online payments, check to see if the payee can stop sending you paper bills that have a far greater chance of being stolen.
Another consumer fear is the use of a personal credit card for online purchases. Today most vendors have very secure servers that are difficult to hack into. There should be little fear of purchasing an item that can’t be found anywhere else but online. A few hints to remember are:
1. Don’t shop on sites you feel are not reputable. Try to find out if the same item is found elsewhere.
2. Make sure the vendor is using a secure server. Check for the little lock at the bottom right of your browser.
You want to feel safe anywhere you go, even online. Don’t let myths and hype keep you from Internet transactions. It’s far safer than traditional methods and it’s a lot of fun.

The results of the full study are told here, and I think it’s a worthwhile read.