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Those with less experience shopping over broadband internet connections should be cautious this Christmas, an identity theft expert has claimed.

Research by card payment service APACS, published in October, found that more than half (54 per cent) of all card fraud losses occur online.

Year-on-year increases in online fraud have taken the total to £161.9 million, although the rate is decreasing.

There is also an increasing number of online retail outlets, which also increases the chances of fraud.

However, Danny Harrison, identity theft manager for CPP, explained there are ways to determine more secure sites.

He urges shoppers to make "sure that the website is secure", usually indicated by a padlock symbol displayed alongside the website address bar.

"Always use a credit card," he added. "If somebody does get that information the worst they can do is rack up [debt], and then all I need to do is go to speak with my credit card provider and get it sorted out."

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