ALTHOUGH Americans are increasingly shopping online and are well aware of the risks that cyber thieves pose, a majority admit they do not take the time to follow basic precautions they know can protect their personal and financial information. A few facts and tips can help you avoid trouble.
That is one of the key findings of the CA Security Council’s (CASC) 2015 Consumer Trust Survey, which reveals that:
• Most consumers have at least one device they don’t bother password protecting. The most common device left unguarded is the tablet, a device that 61 percent leave unprotected.
• On a positive note, 53 percent of respondents identify the padlock as adding confidence in an e-commerce site, with 42 percent associating the green bar and organization name in the URL with greater safety. The green bar indicates a website has earned a special Extended Validation (EV) digital certificate.
• 43 percent of respondents are happy to use public Wi-Fi without regard to security issues, as long as it is free.
• 33 percent use just one or two passwords to log in across all their websites. This is especially problematic when considering the number of companies that have experienced breaches that resulted in stolen passwords within the last few years.
Digital security tips
To help consumers stay secure, the CASC offers these tips:
• Look for “https” in the address bar. The “s” means it’s secure. You should also see a padlock symbol. For an added sign that the site is authentic, look for the green browser bar and the website’s name to appear in green.
• Update your browser to the latest version, which addresses the most current online risks.
• If your browser gives you a message about an untrusted security certificate for a website, don’t proceed.
• Wherever possible, don’t allow an organization to keep your payment information on file.
Advancing website security
The CASC is an advocacy group committed to the advancement of the security of websites and online transactions.
The Council advises all American consumers to be more attentive protecting themselves from cyber thieves, whose attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect. Proactive measures include looking for the EV indicators and taking time to click on the Certificate Information in order to verify that the name and URL address of the company or organization match the site they plan to visit.
To learn more, visit www.casecurity.org.
North American Precis Syndicate