More is needed to encourage the public to feel secure online than the green address bar.
In response to earlier claims that the green address bar encourages the user to feel secure, David Holman, director of First Cyber Security, claimed that the green bar does not have a large bearing upon the public perception of security.
Holman claimed that although he agreed that an independent visual indicator is required and can work, he pointed to a recent Harvard-based research project that concluded that only three per cent of IT literate people actually took any notice of the green bar.
Holman said: “So what is the solution for the other 97 per cent and those people who are not so familiar with how to spot a fake site? During the financial turmoil in the market it is very likely that consumers will use the internet for evaluating better deals for anything they buy, from financial products, holidays, groceries and clothes. Without giving these consumers more confidence in the internet, retailers will lose potential revenue and fraudsters will gain from ID theft.
“After all what good is a green URL bar if no-one notices it and its only there some of the time? It's consistency that breeds confidence, and that's what the internet needs?”
Holman explained that the solution from First Cyber Security works independently of the browser and not only shows the authentic sites (as a separate green window), uniquely from the moment you enter the first page of the website, but will also show any known fraudulent sites (in red).
He explained that traditional green URL bars generally only turn green when consumers are about to pay for an item and many sites, insurance for instance, require the consumer to add large amounts of private information (name, address, age, car registration, health history etc.) before being able to produce a quote and there is rarely, if ever, a green bar indicator to show that their private information is going to an authentic site.
Holman said: “The green URL bar only appears if a consumer decides he wants to purchase the quoted item. Our system's in-built security features allow the display of the retailers/banks logo along with the green indicator allowing the retailers to link their brand with security, improving their overall brand integrity.”