Only half of online users check website authenticity before entering payment information

Recent research carried out by Kaspersky Lab has revealed that many individuals do not follow basic security procedures when making online payments.

An online test was issued by the cybersecurity provider to more than 18,000 individuals and returned some concerning results.

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Only 50 per cent of users checked if a website was genuine before entering their financial details, for example, while a third believed that it was completely unnecessary to take any steps to protect their money when online. Many individuals were also unable to recognise common phishing techniques, with 50 per cent unable to identify the encrypted “https” prefix and five per cent selecting sites with misspelt addresses – a frequent sign that a website is inauthentic.

In fact, many respondents (29 per cent) suggested that the reason for their lack of security concern was that large financial corporations were already “sufficiently protected.” Moreover, some individuals used ineffective methods to protect their information, under the misapprehension that it would thwart attackers. 11 per cent used “incognito” mode when entering financial information, four per cent used an anonymiser and seven per cent entered and then cleared data repeatedly in order to “confuse viruses.”

Kirill Slavin, managing director for UK and Ireland at Kaspersky Lab believes that the test results show that more still needs to be done to educate online users.

"These statistics emphasise what has long been perceived; which is that many users are not only endangering themselves and their money but also the banking systems they use,” he said. “Rectifying issues caused by inexperienced users can consume considerable resources, and have a negative influence on a company’s reputation. Companies need to instil confidence in their users by reassuring them that they are doing everything possible to protect them from online fraud and this imposes a great deal of responsibility.”

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The data also emphasises that technical solutions can only do so much to prevent security threats and that cultural and educational improvements are also required.