US Senator Insists Websites Must Raise Security

New York Senator Charles Schumer has encouraged major websites to revamp their security to protect consumers' data from being stolen from unprotected public Wi-Fi networks.

Schumer said that major websites, with a large user base, should quicken their transition to the 'https' web address protocol which is far more secure than the current 'http' protocol.

The http protocol makes it easier for hackers to steal the users' personal details from a public Wi-Fi network at coffee houses and other public places. Schumer has also said that his office will contact several major websites to ask them to improve their security.

Facebook's failure to adapt to the secure https address was believed to be the reason behind its CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page being hacked. The senator said that hacking is becoming easier owing to the widespread availability of tools, "There are programs; one is called Firesheep that have made the process of tapping into someone's computer easy for even the least sophisticated computer user."

Websites therefore need to revamp their security to protect their users. “With the privilege of serving millions of U.S. citizens, providers of major websites have a responsibility to protect individuals who use their sites and submit private information,” Schumer said.