Users ignore bank security features

A new study has found users of online banking sites tend to bypass critical clues that the integrity of those sites may have been compromised.

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A new study has found users of online banking sites tend to bypass critical clues that the integrity of those sites may have been compromised.

According to the working draft of a study released on Sunday by researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the throw the effectiveness of many site-authentication technologies into doubt.

The study will be formally released in May at the US IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy and also underscores how new technologies and warnings can't completely protect internet users from scams such as phishing.

It throws doubt on the effectiveness of site-authentication images, which have been implemented by financial institutions such as Bank of America and ING Bank. The images, selected by the customers, are shown when a bank customer logs in from a different computer than is normally used.

The study involved 67 users, with more than 90% under 30 years old, which meant that, because of varying parameters in the study, not all qualified to be included in the results for each of the three tests. Users were asked to conduct common online banking tasks, although precautions were taken to ensure users weren't put at risk.

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