Symantec's product marketing manager, Ryan White, revealed the results of the company's Online Internet Safety Survey in a . White admitted to being somewhat surprised by the results.
"What struck me the most was that in many cases, respondents continued online transactions even when those transactions lacked respondents knew should be there," White wrote, "For example, 80 percent of respondents knew to look for the padlock icon signifying Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, but only 55 percent said they would abort a transaction if they didn't see it."
The padlock indicator was the most obvious safety signal users chose to ignore, so it's hardly surprising that users also ignored signs such as mismatched domain certificates, and chose to use insecure connections when browsing social media sites. Perhaps the most shocking: a whopping 25 percent of users responded that they had continued an online transaction they knew to be unsafe.
This blasé attitude was even stranger considering the survey respondents were very well-informed about online security. A stunning 97 percent of respondents considered themselves to be either "somewhat" or "extremely" knowledgeable about online security. Respondents also seemed to act more securely in other situations--98 percent of respondents were either "extremely" or "somewhat" concerned about their confidential data when banking.
While White was puzzled by this mismatch, the reasons seem obvious: the sheer number of we're advised to take online can be exhausting. It's not hard to imagine that ven the most security-conscious user sometimes lets their guard down.