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BizReport : Internet : May 09, 2011

Consumers say online tracking 'okay' for fraud prevention purposes

According to the findings of a new survey released by the Ponemon Institute, online fraud continues to be of growing concern among many Internet users, the majority of whom say it is okay for businesses to track them for fraud prevention purposes.

by Helen Leggatt

threatmetrix logo.jpgResults of the survey, conducted by fraud prevention provider ThreatMetrix, show a whopping 85% of Internet users are worried and dissatisfied with the level of online protection provided by today's online businesses.

That number has risen 5% since a 2009 Ponemon study in which the same questions were asked.

Just 12% of respondents felt that businesses were improving their ability to protect customers' personal information.

Most respondents felt online businesses could do more to prevent criminals stealing personal information and are happy to co-operate. The majority of consumers (70%) said that if they were assured their personal information was not collected when used for fraud detection purposes, they were comfortable with an online business authenticating their identity through a digital fingerprint.

When asked what information they would be prepared to part with for identification purposes a clear preference for providing device identification information rather than personal information emerges.

Serial number of computer - 88%
Type and make of computer - 83%
Internet service provider - 76%
Browser settings - 71%
Type of browser - 65%
IP address - 59%
Types of software applications residing on device - 54%
Email address - 46%
Purchase history - 39%
Planned future purchases - 35%
Date of birth - 34%
Telephone number - 17%
Home address - 16%
Name - 14%
Zip code - 9%
Social Security number - 4%
Driver's license number - 2%

The survey also highlighted how hard it is for the extent of online fraud to be ascertained. While 42% of respondents said they had fallen victim to online fraud most (80%) did not report the crime to the authorities and less than 1 in 5 had reported it to the online business directly.

"A lot of fraudulent activity goes unreported today, making it difficult for online businesses to fully understand the prominence and seriousness of the problem," said Reed Taussig, president and CEO, ThreatMetrix.

"With a rise in online transactions and activities across devices, more needs to be done to educate online merchants, banks, social outlets and other businesses on how to decrease fraudulent activity."

Tags: consumer protection, fraud prevention, fraud protection, Internet fraud, online business, online crime, online fraud, online tracking

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