November 24, 2017
With Cyber Monday—the official start of the busiest online shopping month of the year —just a couple of days away, a survey of 1,019 U.S. consumers conducted by Zogby Analytics on behalf of the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) has found that only half think they can determine the safety and legitimacy of online shopping sites.
In fact, 35% of Internet shoppers claim to have stopped an online purchase because of security fears. And results of the survey, released on November 21, show that worries about being scammed online cause 27% of shoppers to worry excessively—even keeping 12% up at night.
The threat is real:
- 60% of consumers have had their computer infected with malware.
- 50% have visited a website that they feared could do harm to their computer or device.
According to GCA, the holiday shopping season represents a major boon to scammers—who launch more fake websites in December than during any other time of year. The alliance reports that nearly 119,000 unique phishing sites were detected during November 2016. Worst yet, the brands with the most “spoof-able” websites included popular online retailers Amazon (82%), Walmart (36%) and Target (20%).
It is easy for scammers to trick users with websites that look like they are legitimate company websites—but have a different IP address—something that most users would find hard to confirm.
One method? Registering web domains that are misspellings of popular brands and destinations. According to the GCA survey, 77% of U.S. consumers have mistyped a website address into their browser and 68% have clicked on a link in an email that has taken them to a different site than they expected.
Last week, GCA, along with IBM Security and Packet Clearing House, launched Quad9, a free service that protects both consumers and businesses from the most popular phishing websites. In four easy steps, computers can be configured to automatically check every link that is clicked on—or address that is entered—against a directory of millions of bad web addresses compiled from companies that specialize in categorizing online threats and scams. If a user tries to access a website that is on any of the lists of malicious websites, he or she are blocked from accessing the site.
“The cybersecurity burdens that we place on consumers are excessive. It is asking too much from consumers to navigate all the security risks they face. and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. “We must do a better of job of creating solutions that provide security and privacy without the user having to worry about it. Quad9 does just that.”
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