Close to one-third of online shoppers don’t follow basic security rules when making payments, according to a recent survey from security vendor, Kaspersky Lab.
The company said more than 18,000 respondents conducted the online test, which exposed them to a number of potentially dangerous situations that are often encountered on the Internet. The study also found that only half checked that a website was authentic before entering their financial details.
Participants were asked to select one of four fictitious banking sites to enter their account details. The firm said only half were able to recognise the truly secure site with an unmodified name (changes to an organisation’s name are a common giveaway of phishing) and the https prefix indicating an encrypted connection. In addition, 5 per cent of respondents selected sites with a misspelt address, which suggests they are potentially fake pages created to steal financial data from users.
Users were then asked what steps they would take before entering their financial data to make an online payment.
Only 51 per cent said they verify the authenticity of a site, 21 per cent use a virtual keyboard to protect their passwords from interception by malware, 20 per cent check their security solution is working properly to ensure the payment is secure from any outside interference and an alarming 29 per cent said they would take no additional action because "the websites of big, well-known companies are sufficiently protected.”
Kaspersky Lab managing director A/NZ, Andrew Mamonitis, said, "These figures reinforce what has long been observed, that many users still are not only endangering themselves and their money, but also the banking and payment businesses they use.”
“Dealing with incidents, even if they are caused by inexperienced users, can consume considerable resources and have a negative impact on a company’s reputation. That means the use of specialized security against online theft is becoming a necessity,” he added.
Alarmingly, many users employed actions that offer no protection for their financial information:
- 11 per cent of respondents would use "incognito" mode to protect a payment.
- Four per cent would resort to an anonymizer.
- Seven per cent would repeatedly enter and wipe the data "to confuse viruses”.
Kaspersky said some users were just as careless about protecting their payment details in the real world, with 20 per cent seeing no problem in letting their bank card out of their sight while paying in a restaurant.