Monday, December 10, 2012

Customer tracking and computer newbies

Topic - Are non-literate internet users are at a higher risk for experiencing identity theft, or is everyone now equally vulnerable – support your opinion. Explain specifically how end-user tracking and recording technologies may either increase or reduce cybersecurity risks for non-literate users when using the Internet, or when shopping at a brick and mortar establishment.

Yes, non-literate internet users are at a distinctly higher risk of identity theft. Lacking knowledge about how the internet results in users missing clues that can protect them. Clues that protect knowledgeable users:

  • http:// vs https:// Encrypted traffic hides your data from passive snooping.
  • Verified site and certificates. Browsers identify sites which have gone the extra step to prove their ownership to the certificate authorities. This protects customers from accidently logging in to This style of URL transform is especially challenging to detect.(Kumaraguru et al, 2010)
  • Spoofed email headers, which can give away that the email you just received is fake, so you should not click their link to

Customer tracking and recording can significantly decrease the cybersecurity risk for non-literate users. The login patterns for a victim of phishing, or other account theft, will experience a sudden change. The damage of a compromise is greatly decreased if the tracking company recognizes the change and freezes the account.

Nguyen & Hayes (2010) write about customers having greatly different views about the tracking and recording based on what technology is in use. Web services tend to rate as a much higher concern technologies such as electronic toll collection. I find this a bit odd, personally. Electronic tolls place you physically someplace, which is information that can be used to commit real, dangerous crime against you.

Slightly off-topic, but those loyalty cards can pose a significant physical security risk. If you registered your address with your card and always use it at the local shop, then using the card else where lets your movements be tracked. Specifically, if you use the card two states away, then it is a good indicator that the house at that address is probably empty.

Kumaraguru, P., Sheng, S., Acquisti, A., Cranor, L. F., & Hong, J. (2010). Teaching Johnny not to fall for phish. ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT), 10(2), 7.

Nguyen, D. H., & Hayes, G. R. (2010). Information privacy in institutional and end-user tracking and recording technologies. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 14(1), 53-72.

No comments:

Post a Comment