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Consumers Primed For Online Shopping Despite Fraud Concerns

Nearly half of consumers say they already have fallen victim to cybercrime
Online consumers plan to purchase more goods online this holiday season, but they are also more worried about online fraud, according to a study published this week.

According to a joint study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and security vendor ThreatMetrix, one-third of consumers intend to purchase more online than in-store this holiday shopping season.

While they are planning to buy more online, three in four consumers have either some concerns (53 percent) or serious concerns (26 percent) about online fraud, the study says. Forty-three percent report they have been the victims of online fraud, up slightly from 42 percent that was reported in a similar study in early 2011.

Nearly one in three consumers believe the fraud risk to be lower on a smartphone or tablet computer than on a desktop or laptop computer, the study says. Among consumers who could be considered extremely active users of the Internet, that number increased to 39 percent.

"Consumers who have a high propensity to use the Internet for shopping, banking, gaming, social media interactions, and other activities appear to have a stronger sense of security online -- which is not exclusive only to desktops and laptops," says Larry Ponemon, founder and CEO of Ponemon Institute.

"While these users may be savvier when it comes to the digital channel, their safety net may not always be there," Ponemon adds. "Online transactions are a two-way street. While they may think they’re taking the necessary precautions to avoid online fraud, the sites they’re visiting must also be implementing online fraud prevention tactics."

Some 49 percent of respondents indicated they will use their desktop or laptop computer on Cyber Monday and for other holiday-related purchases. Thirty-seven percent will use a smartphone, and 12 percent will use a tablet device. One in four respondents say they have already used their smartphones or tablets to make a mobile payment of some kind, mostly via PayPal or credit cards.

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