Online Shopping is Like a Trip to the Bank

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – A startling number of data breeches in less than a month of the new year have already been reported on Privacy “Website security is becoming a bigger issue every year. Hackers target small business’, and organizations such as Privacy Rights allows consumers to see how large of a problem it really is. If your dentist isn’t concerned about website security, his lack of consideration could potentially cause you your identity” said Dave Brandley co-founder of website security scanning company, Trust Guard.

Anti-virus protection for a personal computer is the first step in protecting identity but it might not be enough. According to Brandley, shoppers often stop short of full protection because they just don’t know any better, which leads all too often to identity theft.

Trust Guard has been determined to raise awareness about the importance of website security. Their easy to understand campaign compares online shopping with a trip to the bank. They explain that it is often taken for granted that the vault, the armored car and all ATM’s are secure and safe. The assumption is preyed upon by identity thieves and hackers. “Once a computer and internet connection are secure, a Trust Guard security seal assures that the website itself is airtight and ready for business” said Brandley.

Comparing a secure Internet connection to an armored car, charged with transporting personal information from a personal computer to the website, Brandley highlights the importance of confirming the presence of two key indicators that the connection is truly secure. Intuitively, if there is the lock icon at the bottom of the web page, it is likely that the connection is secure and the website’s SSL certificate is in operation. He recommends a glance at the URL displayed in the address bar as well. The “s” in “https” stands for secure. Both should be there before entering a credit card number. At this point, the computer is protected with a secure connection. If a computer is like an ATM and the connection is like an armored car, what happens if the bank or website is robbed?

A website security company like Trust Guard scans websites for vulnerability or security holes and provides the owner with details on where the weaknesses are and how to fix them. It is then up to the website owner to secure the website. Using Trust Guard as an example, when a website then meets PCI compliance standards, the website can post the seal of security on the website. Brandley warns It is possible for websites to copy/paste a security seal without passing the scan. Take a close look at the seal and then drag your mouse over it to check authenticity it should point to:

Dave Brandley summarizes the simple steps to safe and secure online shopping: “Always look for the lock…and the ‘https’” and make sure the website is secure by looking for a Security Scanned seal and check to be sure the seal is real. Simple steps to shopping with peace of mind.