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Many Americans aren't adequately protecting themselves against the risk of identity theft. According to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive, on behalf of credit reporting agency Experian, while 93% of consumers recognize that identity theft is a very real threat, a substantial number of people don't take adequate preventive measures to protect themselves.


Of the 2,000 respondents, more than half admitted that they don't always check to see if a shopping website is secure. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of respondents who have accounts online don't use a unique password for each of those accounts.


Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for the Experian identity theft division, ProtectMyID, stated that individuals' awareness of identity theft isn't translating into action.


"While people are more aware and concerned about identity theft, they are not doing what they should to stay protected, especially when it comes to online activities," said Chaplin. "Consumers clearly don't want to become victims, yet they continue to put themselves in danger."


The study also noted risks inherent in some common online behaviors. For example, 57% said that, rather than visiting a site directly, they simply click on links. This behavior can be costly, as links can lead consumers to fraudulent websites that are designed to collect their information. Additionally, the use of social media sites may be endangering people who are sharing too much information about themselves.


Speak up: What are you doing to protect yourself from identity theft?