September 27, 2011, 4:30 PM

A third of consumers will shop more online than in stores for the holidays

But a study finds that 79% of online shoppers worry about fraud.

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A third of U.S. consumers will buy more online than inside stores this holiday shopping season, according to a survey sponsored by fraud-prevention services provider ThreatMetrix and conducted by The Ponemon Institute, a market research firm.

The findings are based on an August survey of 722 U.S. consumers who said they were active Internet users. 53% of respondents said they have some concerns, however, about online fraud during holiday shopping, while 26% said they had serious concerns.

43% of respondents said they had been victims of online fraud, compared with 42% who said the same in a similar survey conducted in early 2011.

A third of surveyed consumers said they consider smartphones and tablet computers to present a lower fraud risk than laptops or desktops. The percentage increases to 39% for consumers who consider themselves extremely active Internet users.

“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, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute. “While these users may be savvier when it comes to the digital channel, their safety net may not always be there. 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.”

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