eBay Launches Web Smart Guide For Safety

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According to a recent survey, a lot of Australians feel the online world is becoming a safer place to shop – 76 percent, to be exact.

A significant portion – 58 percent – “did not think the industry was doing enough to educate people about security online,” though. eBay is trying to change this perception by launching a new “online Web Smart’ guide.”

The new guide will “provide users with information and advice on shopping safely online,” according to Stuart Corner of iTWire.

You may well ask why eBay is getting involved at all, but the study, you see, was conducted for eBay by Sweeney Research.

Alastair MacGibbon, the trust and safety director at eBay Australia, spoke to Corner about the new guide. “The Web Smart guide is informed by the research we did on what people are concerned about and the things that are actually impacting on people,” he said. “We focus on phishing, spoofing, identity theft.”

“However,” MacGibbon added, “the vast bulk of identities that are stolen are stolen offline through theft from peoples’ letterboxes or swiping their card at a petrol station or somewhere.”

“The biggest problem in relation to account security,” MacGibbon told iTWire, “is weak passwords and password security in general . . . . The best advice I could give is have a hard to guess password and change it regularly.”

He also took a moment to plug PayPal, saying, “The number one driver that is making people more safe is that they are using PayPal [an eBay subsidiary] to protect their identify when making purchases.”

The guide will have more recommendations to make than “use PayPal,” however.

“In the guide we have a compendium of compelling simple steps that are easy to follow,” MacGibbon stated. “Our job is now to slice and dice those and deliver them to people at various times in their life cycle as a customer . . . We have already done some relevant experiments and we know that it works.”

The less-than-satisfied 58 percent may also be happy to know that more help is on the way.

“The release of the Web Smart guide is only the first stage of a long programme of changes to help people get web smart,” according to MacGibbon. “You will see us start to send messages out on a very tailored basis, and small messages relating to what people are doing at the time.”


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

eBay Launches Web Smart Guide For Safety
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