Consumer Security Advice

Here’s an attempt at consumer security advice that I saw at a railway station recently. Apparently, secure sites are denoted by “https//” (sic). And it conflates a secure connection with trustworthiness. It’s good that people are trying, but we have a way to go…

5 thoughts on “Consumer Security Advice

  1. Looks like that’s the UK home office. Why am I not surprised they got it wrong, I wonder…

  2. Problem is, it’s a waste of time trying to get people to understand the details… they’re not techies, and they’ve got other things to spend braincells on.

    This particular ad might not do a good job of it, but we really do need to reduce it to something as simple as this – something like “look for the padlock”, which can fit comfortably on a sign like that one, where people will see and remember it.

  3. How common are these “wrong sites” that the poster refers to? Even taking its advice on its own terms, I’m struggling to see that this is a situation that many consumers would encounter.

    HTTPS helps you on a legit shopping site to prevent somebody else on the network from snaffling your card details. Are there many legit shopping sites these days which aren’t using HTTPS?
    (When the site itself is rogue site, HTTPS doesn’t help you.)

  4. I’ve seen this before, the question is if we should fight it on a deontological basis (try to teach everyone the difference between security and trust) or on a intuitive basis, mitigating the confusion in the browser using better UX.

  5. And to be fair, the ad does not technically conflate the two. Your credit card details will *not* be vulnerable to interception in a secure website, and you should not purchase in insecure websites. The mere suggestion that a site is secure almost always is interpreted as it being safe or trustworthy – these words are not used on the ad, and yet you too interpreted it as such.
    The padlock is a good indication of security, and that is all the ad claims in text, however, the suggestive drawing seems to illustrate that it is okay to purchase on secure websites, when that is not only true.
    These ads should illustrate EV banners instead, but let’s be honest, not even all shopping websites have those.

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