Personal Identifiable Information on the Internet
The biggest problem that plagues online marketplaces is the risk of identity theft. Identity theft is still a major concern for financial institutions and online businesses. It’s still such a big problem that even the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, urged congress to establish a set of guidelines for companies in the event that a customer’s personal identifiable Information be stolen (Douglas, 2014), which came after the result of Targets servers being breached by hackers and having over 40 million customer cords (Including addresses, phone numbers, and even credit/debit card Information) (Osborne, 2014).
Currently there are only state guidelines as to how companies deal with data breaches, but the federal government is working on changing that. There’s no doubt that as the internet continues to grow and more people gain access to the internet there will also be an increase in cybercafé. This includes pushing, where cyber criminals pose as legitimate businesses and companies online in order to steal information from consumers.
The majority of wishers try to lure people into clicking a URL that looks similar to one they’ve been using to access the original website and sometimes even making the weeping look similar to the actual page, but in reality the page is fraudulent and instead the user would be sending their Information to the fisher’s server. According to a study done by the International Journal of Computer Science, most people were not able to distinguish a real website from a fraudulent one Intent on pushing Information (Wang, 2011). There are a number of ways to Increase awareness of these sites and rotted consumers from having their information stolen.
One of the most common ways online businesses help to ensure data stays protected is by using SSL encryption on their website. Consumers can check if a website uses SSL by looking for a little picture of a lock in the URL bar and seeing if the URL address begins with HTTPS; this method of checking to see if SSL encryption is being utilized is the easiest for users. However, SSL encryption is not perfect and cyber criminals have been known to get around this system by using fake SSL certificates in their pushing bested.
Not every system is perfect and SSL Is constantly being improved. It Is also Important to make the online businesses partially responsible for educating people and taking the necessary steps towards ensuring the privacy of Its users. It’s not required for websites to have to have privacy policies, but they’re important to have in place in order to increase the consumers’ confidence in the used to save information so that a user may easily navigate a site without having to input data over and over again.
Cookies are a double-edged sword, they may save a seer from having their information stolen if they happen to a have key-logger or mallard installed on their computer, but if a cookies encryption gets broken, then all the information contained within it could be taken. This could be avoided by storing the cookies on the sites server, but as we saw with Target, may be a bad idea. There are a number of technologies being developed to help with information collecting, including different encryption methods and multiple checks to ensure that it is the rightful user that is on the site.
For example, Google uses a great system allied 2-step verification. Not only is a password used, but every time you try to log in, Google will text a code to your mobile account that you can only use once to get into your account. This method could make sure that in the event your password or other information is stolen, it would be useless unless the criminal also happens to have your phone. Credit card companies could also start employing this method; in order to make a purchase you would have to verify it.
It is a little time consuming, to be checking your phone every time you decided to log into an account or buy something, UT in my opinion, would be the best way to ensure that your personal information is safe even if someone else has it. Making companies like Target liable for carelessly storing their customers’ data should also be considered. There have been class action lawsuits against e- commerce businesses like Amazon and various online pharmacies that have neglected to protect a user’s personal information. Not all the blame should be placed on the businesses, as it’s all up to the consumer if they wish to shop online.
Consumers should be properly educated about shopping online and the risks involved. Since most of our money is kept in banks it’s easy to lose sight of how fragile everything is. More and more companies are moving away from using the traditional system of paper mail and moving towards electronic methods, so it’s even more important that we are aware of how everything works. With all that being considered, newer technologies, encryption methods, and proper privacy policies will guarantee that cybercafé, identity theft, and the theft of personal identifiable information will decrease.
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