#CyberFLASH: Protect Your Data While Shopping Online This Holiday Season

22485379278_bbe59da058Over half of Canadians say they are more concerned about identity theft today than they were a year ago.

According to a recent study by Equifax Canada on consumer spending habits online and in stores, 49% of Canadians indicated they are particularly worried about the risk of identity theft when making online purchases.

Even so, 75% of shoppers still plan to make their holiday purchases online this year.

“Data breaches are on the rise and while it’s encouraging that some people are taking steps to protect their personal data, many remain easy targets for identity thieves and fraudsters,” says John Russo, Equifax Canada’s Chief Privacy Officer. “We know these criminals are more active during the run-up to the holidays when people are buying gifts.”

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, it is estimated that less than 5% of the total number of fraud victims report their experiences to law enforcement agencies. Fraud-related crime in Canada has ballooned to between $15-$30 billion annually.

“We encourage people to be more cautious when shopping online and to check their credit report regularly,” Russo said.

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