Less Than Half of Americans Understand Website Security

August 29, 2017, Written By John H. Oldshue

Public Interest Registry released the results of their Internet 101 Survey yesterday. The study was designed to see how well Americans understand the Internet, and the results are less than ideal. Even though 84% of respondents considered themselves “knowledgeable” in this area, few were able to accurately answer questions about websites and online security.

One of the biggest concerns lies in Americans’ knowledge of HTTPS websites (compared to HTTP). The “S” at the end of the prefix stands for “secure.” Websites formatted with Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure protocols use encryptions to protect credit card and payment information. Only 45% of respondents were able to identify HTTPS websites as the “most secure protocol to share personal or financial information.”

Ideally, a consumer should check the beginning of a website’s address as displayed in the address bar of the browser. This will show if it is http:// or https://. Sites that do not have an “s” at the end should not be trusted with credit card or bank account information because the data sent across them is not encrypted.

68% of participants could not identify the decade in which the World Wide Web was invented. Surprisingly, Baby Boomers knew more about the invention of the Internet than other age groups. 34% of Baby Boomers knew the Internet was invented in the 1980’s, compared to 31% of Gen Xers and 29% of Millennials.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 29, 2017. For up-to-date
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About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.
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