Many Web Users Ignore Security Alerts

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

A new study commissioned by encryption management company Venafi and conducted by NSØN opinion Research looked at more than 1,000 respondents experience with online security certificates, encryption, and the warnings implemented by browser developers to point to possible problems with expired, mismatched, or untrusted certificates. The survey finds that 91 percent of respondents have seen a browser security alert, with fully 86 percent reporting seeing them at least every few months. Furthermore, while almost half of U.S. Internet users surveyed say they abandon a site once they see a security alert, nearly an equal number ignore the alert and proceed to conduct business on the site, potentially putting their personal and financial information at risk.

“Although companies are deploying more encryption to protect consumers, they simply are not doing an adequate job of maintaining it,” said Trell Rohovit, Venafi’s president and CEO, in a release. “This mismanagement causes confusion, and according to our study, is a significant stumbling block for users of on-line services and a costly problem for organizations who rely heavily on the Web to efficiently deliver services to their customers.”

Web site security alerts are displayed by modern Web browsers when a site’s encryption certificate is expired, is not trusted by a browser (e.g, comes from an unrecognized source), or does not match the location of the site. Mismatches and untrusted certificates can be caused by “phishers” or others trying to impersonate a site—particularly in the case of sites purporting to be bands, brokerages, or other financial institutions.

When asked why security alerts appear, 34 percent of survey respondents said they have no idea why the alerts come up, while 24 percent said they believed it was a problem with the site, and 40 percent said it was because someone was trying to compromise their personal data.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they have received at least one phishing attempt, which tried to direct them to a Web site that looked authentic in order to obtain their personal or financial information. However, 46 percent of respondents said they assess the integrity of a Web site by going to it regularly and knowing what it looks like.

The survey also found the telecommunications companies had the fewest expired certificates, while technology companies accounted for the highest number of expired certificates.

And here’s an irony: Venafi will supply anyone with a free copy of the complete study, in exchange for filling out a form with personal information and details about your organization’s encryption management process. And while the company does offer a privacy policy…gosh, the transaction isn’t encrypted.

Mobile

Firefox Send file-sharing service is now an Android app

Mozilla has just launched Firefox Send as an Android app. The free service lets you share files of up 2.5GB via a web link that expires after a certain period of time or number of downloads.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

After fourth attack, hacker puts personal records of 26M people up for sale

A serial hacker going by the name of Gnosticplayers is selling the personal data of 26 million people who have been using the services of six different companies from across the world.
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Computing

The new iMacs push on iMac Pro territory, but how much power do you really need?

With Apple refreshing the higher-end iMacs with newer processors and graphics cards, it moves closer to the iMac Pro. In this guide, we consider the performance, features, and help make sense of the differences between the two.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Which mid-range Nvidia Turing graphics card should you buy?

Nvidia's top mid-range cards are all solid performers, but which offers the best bang for buck? To find out where you should spend your money on your next big upgrade, we pitted the GTX 1660 vs. GTX 1660 Ti vs. RTX 2060.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.