Is there sufficient security for consumers when shopping online?
Tina & Amir 2014 Essay part 1
Spamming is defined as the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited messages to customers especially in advertising and also known as junk (Godwin J, 2001). In addition, the definition of checkout process is the step that a customer should go through when checking out the items in the cart. This is what the user sees at the frontend in a screen while he attempts finish online shopping. Identity theft is action that occurs when hackers get a some of personal information from consumers and use that information without the owner‘s knowledge or approval (Wang & Huang, 2011). Moreover, SSL is the protocol that for creating an encrypted link between the Web Server and a web browser. If the link is encrypted they use a protocol https. It considers the most commonly used protocol (Wagner & Schneier, 1997). Furthermore, phishing is defined as an e-mail deception process which the hacker sends a message from his email in an effort to collect credit card details, personal information and password from the victim to use the victim's information negatively (Wang & Huang, 2011).
Concerns for consumers when shopping online:
It is speculated that a major concern for the most consumers when online shopping is the fear of identity theft and fraud. First of all, phishing is one of the most important methods of identity theft and fraud. A lot of online shoppers are concerned about their personal data and credit cards information, which once disclosed, may be given or sold either to marketing companies or Internet criminals (Wang & Huang, 2011). According to recent Forrester Research predictions, billions of dollars in sales are lost by e-commerce retailers each year because of online security fears. Shoppers may fear easily have been becoming fraud victims of various kinds starting from trivial stealing or ending with signing up of an electronic contract. As a result, the customers fear transferred their money to a counterfeit web-service because they tend to rely more upon the sellers they have already purchased with them (Niranjanamurthy & Chahar, 2013). Therefore, another concern of fraud for consumers when online shopping is spamming. The users may be subject to ‘junk e-mailing’ and spamming, or the so-called ‘cold calls’ from annoying sales representatives because the users may be did online shopping. As a consequence, the users may be subjected to fraud or identity theft by hacker. Some research shows that the quantity of spam flowing through the Internet to be up to 30 percent of all e-mails, which is a sign that spam is one of concerns for consumer when online shopping (Godwin J, 2001). Moreover, in some cases, trust is one of concerns for consumers when online shopping. Online shoppers care of the credibility of the shop they visit whether the web-site owner is a real one, or a fake, whether the ordered products will be delivered or it is just the mere trickery. Accordingly, customers are more inclined to use Smartcard, PayPal, E Cash or other online service to pay for their orders, rather than provide their credit card information (Godwin J, 2001). Customers online are also very much concern about the check-out processes while purchasing the goods. for example, Some the internet shopping sites are not clear and honest with the consumer about the item price or shipping cost. Thus, shoppers maybe become more selective (Niranjanamurthy & Chahar, 2013).
When shopping online, clients are exposed to various risks depending on the precautions they take. People in the internet are always trying their best to come up with ways to steal and fraud unaware clients in the World Wide Web. Some of the main security issues include: Denial of services, unauthorized access, theft and fraud, and privacy.
In denial of services criteria, there exist many ways of which the security of clients can be breached. These include spamming, use of viruses, Trojan horses and worms. The use of denial of services criteria, denies the client the access to the sites and the good through which the person wants to access. Hackers may send the users commercial emails with an intention to solicit funds from them. The hackers may also place software in the computers of unknown users and access their information hence limiting their usage while attaining taking advantage of their credit cards. There is also use of viruses to the computer of the users blocking them from using certain sites and performing certain tasks. The hackers also sue Trojan Horses as they disguise themselves as computer programs tempting the users to run them as programs. These methods inhibit the users from performing their tasks efficiently, hence their name ‘Denial of service’ (Godwin, 2001).
There also exist security issues that result in unauthorized access to the computer of the users. These pose a security threat as they may use the credit/debit card information of the client and make purchases on his or her behalf. These security issues emerge when unauthorized users gain illegal access to data, applications and systems. The unauthorized users maybe hackers or any other harmful software or program that may cause harm to once computer or hinder the operations of the user. These unauthorized entries may result to active or passive accesses. These events may lead to the users or hackers obtaining confidential information of the online shoppers. The unauthorized users may also cause havoc to the operations of the user hence making the buyer to buy goods he or she had not planned for. In this category, there also chances that the transaction of the users may be delayed by the hackers for malice reasons (Wang, 2011 ). The transactions may be delayed in order for the hackers to gain knowledge of the transaction and divert it to another item for their own benefit. They may also result in the termination of the transaction making it difficult for online shopping to take place.
The third type of security issue that is a threat among online shoppers is theft and fraud. Most of the online shoppers have experienced this first hand, due to the negligence that most shoppers portray. When this event occurs, the online shoppers end up losing their monies as they are spent by the hackers who acquire their credit/debit card information. The users end up losing their privacy as their information is now owned by unknown people in the internet. Online shoppers end up spending large amounts of funds only knowing when they go to acquire their statements.
It can be seen that there are many ways through which online shoppers are at risk. Therefore, the users should be in a position to adhere to the given rules and safety measures in order to ensure their safety. Therefore, the following steps should be used to aide in the giving of solutions to the existing problem.
Online shoppers are advised to know of the websites which they are about to transact on. The users are advised to always conduct research on the websites so as to be sure of their creditability (Niranjanamurthy, 2013). The users are expected to have read the privacy and security policies of the website and the transacting company to know of the security measures that do exist. This will reduce on the number of fraud and theft cases on customers transacting over the internet.
The online shoppers are advised to be aware of cookies and other spams that may be contained in these websites. The cookies once stored in the computer in large numbers results in the computer being functional even when the website is online. This means that the hackers can still have access to your information at any given time. Online shoppers are advised not to always allow cookies blindly.
The online shoppers are advised only to be using credit cards when conducting online transactions. These are the safest methods as they will not allow large amounts of transaction over the internet (Niranjanamurthy, 2013). The online users are also advised not to share their passwords with many users and also to share their social security numbers over the internet. The online shoppers are also advised to shop with credible companies and also be keeping a copy of their online transactions.
Ecommerce is increasing in popularity over the world. This is due to the increase in the rate of globalization in the country. Ecommerce has resulted in the ease through which the customers can acquire products and sellers can dispose their products. But there also exist various ways in which this possesses a problem to the online shoppers. The security threats that may be posed include denial of services, unauthorized access and theft or fraud. There are ways through which online shopping could be made secure and this depends with the level of keenness of the buyer.
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Wang, S.H,W.(2011 ). THE EVOLUTIONAL VIEW OF THE TYPES OF IDENTITY THEFTS AND ONLINE FRAUDS IN THE ERA OF THE INTERNET . Internet Journal of Criminology, 1-21.
Niranjanamurthy M, D. D. (2013). The study of E-Commerce Security Issues and Solutions. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering, 2885-2895.
Wagner, A. S. (1997). Analysis of the SSL 3.0 protocol. University of California, Berkeley, 1- 12.