Has Online Holiday Shopping Become Too Risky?

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Author and ex-PayPal insider dismisses threats and encourages shoppers to go online, says that PayPal's triumph over crooks & Mafia shows there's hope for consumers.

"Cyber Monday," the advent of the online holiday shopping season, may have brought a smile to the faces of e-tailers earlier this week, but lingering security concerns are still keeping much of America from shopping online.

Even though some 200 million Americans now use the Internet, less than 2 in 5 consumers will use the Web to purchase a Christmas gift this holiday season. And while high gas prices are expected to help give online sales a 25% boost over last year to $19 billion, about a quarter of all Americans and 40% of Canadians say that they are too afraid to shop online.

Given that recent media coverage of reports "phisher" attacks and identity theft suggest that the Internet is a dangerous place, it's no wonder that consumers are scared, says Eric M. Jackson, the former head of marketing for PayPal.com and author of the award-winning book "The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth" (World Ahead Publishing; hardcover: $27.95; ISBN 0-9746701-0-3). But Jackson insists that consumers have little to fear from would-be thieves and scam artists -- if they are careful.

"While there are a lot of criminals out there in cyberspace, online shopping doesn't have to be risky," says Jackson. "Identity theft and Internet crime are real concerns, but consumers should not avoid the Web just because of negative media hype. The Internet is generally very secure, and if you know what you're doing, it can actually be a great tool to help make your financial information safer."

Jackson adds that during PayPal's first few years in business, the Internet company came under attacks from crooks, phishers, and even organized crime. The company eventually fended off these criminals, and in the process went from losing $10 million a month to becoming profitable and eventually being acquired by eBay. Today, PayPal has has over 86 million account holders, processes about 10% of all e-commerce transactions, and is accepted by dozens of well-known companies such as Dell, Apple iTunes, Virgin Mobile, Starbucks, and PetCo.

"PayPal's rags-to-riches story shows that online crime can be beaten," adds Jackson. "We were able to beat back the Mafia, and armed with some simple knowledge, consumers can also fend off the attacks of Internet fraudsters who are targeting them."

About World Ahead Publishing:

Headquartered in Los Angeles, World Ahead Publishing is the West Coast's leading publisher of conservative and libertarian books. Visit http://www.paypalwars.com to learn more.

Contact Information:

To request an interview with Eric M. Jackson, contact Special Guests at http://specialguests.com or by calling (630) 848-0750.

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Jerry McGlothlin with Special Guests
World Ahead Publishing
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