Internet security necessary with online fraud increasing

Internet security necessary with online fraud increasing

Consumers are increasingly shopping online, especially during the holiday season, but the rise in internet sales comes with heightened opportunity for scamming and identity theft.

According to a recent Washington Examiner report, fraud and identity theft rise during the holidays each year, as cybercriminals take advantage of consumer eagerness to locate the best prices.

"People want the best deal," said John Everett, spokesman for the National White Collar Crime Center, as reported by the news source. "When they see the best deal, it's a knee-jerk reaction to jump on it."

During the past five years, online fraud has increased 31 percent in the Washington, D.C., 73 percent in Maryland and 49 percent in Virginia, the report said. The rise in online identity theft can also be attributed to more retailers launching mobile websites and applications, which carry a greater risk of malware infection.

According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, online incidents accounted for 75 percent of banking fraud at small- and medium-sized businesses, with more than half of SMBs reporting they experienced a banking-related scam during the previous year.