Online Security, Are We All Potentially At Risk?


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How safe are we really? One may wonder if large corporations, small businesses, and individuals are all subject to online fraud. Financial Fraud Action UK has recently reported that losses incurred due to online security failures are increasing.

Though there is no surefire way to safeguard against all potential risks, individuals have options regarding where to invest their money. Choosing the bank best suited to a person's needs is important in such situations. Which? recently delved into the world of online bank security by researching ten of the UK's biggest banks.

The ranking dimensions included the following: login security, logout security, security established for transferring money, avenues in place to change personal account details, the site's navigational capabilities to use forward and back buttons while logged in, and encryption as well as protection of information against threats.

Which? listed the banks in the following order from most secure to least secure.

1. NatWest/RBS - 76%
2. The Co-operative Bank - 72%
3. HSBC - 72%
4. Barclays - 71%
5. Norwich and Peterborough BS - 70%
6. Lloyds TSB - 69%
7. Nationwide BS - 69%
8. Smile - 68%
9. Halifax - 67%
10. Santander - 47%

Santander ranked last on the list, but responded to the study with positive news for bank members. The statement from Santander read, “We have taken on previous feedback from Which? and enhanced the visible and invisible layers of security in our systems. This means when you log off, you are completely logged off and cannot get back in without re-entering security details. While we ensure online banking is safe and secure, we also have to make sure it’s user-friendly as well, to strike the right balance.”

Small businesses can align themselves with website security companies as Verio Inc. has recently done. Verio Inc., which provides business solutions to SMBs, has partnered with StopTheHacker to educate small businesses about ensuring security for their websites. Though services offered will vary in the amount of fees, this initiative allows small business to consider online security options starting at $10 per month.

According to StopTheHacker's Vice President of Sales, Ridley Ruth, "We are very excited to partner with Verio as they understand the importance of website security. We see that 90% of all the malware in the world is being distributed by legitimate small business websites. This valuable, free website security report will further serve to educate Verio's customers to this growing problem while presenting products that will help protect them from becoming one of the over 9,500 websites that Google blacklists every day."

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]