Week three’s lecture video raised an interesting question about the true safety behind the padlock shown on websites (Howell, 2014). At the notion of possible identity theft, fear arose within me. Suddenly, I realised that although I had been very conscious about only pushing out my credit card information on websites containing these padlocks, I had never actually questioned what makes these websites secure. Awakening to my ignorance, I began researching what this ‘padlock’ is all about. I learnt the padlock symbol indicates that a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate has been issued by a third party, verifying the website’s authenticity. Furthermore, the data you enter is encrypted for secure information transfer (Gemalto, 2009). According to Sant Media (2010), however, some certificates only require minimal company information before they are issued. I feel this provides a window for possible fraud and weakens the security and trust factor of the padlock.
Whilst teaching my future students, I hope to alert them on the importance of being conscious consumers online to avoid identity theft, whilst simultaneously minimising a creation of fear about the cyber world, as this may deter them from participating altogether. I could achieve this by demonstrating practical ways to optimise security, such as clicking on the padlock to check the identity and validity of the company in question as well as the certificate authority (Gemalto, 2009).
Gemalto. (2009). What does the padlock at the bottom of some websites mean? Retrieved from http://www.justaskgemalto.com/en/surfing/tips/what-does-padlock-bottom-some-websites-mean
Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world mod01 topic 04 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/1636447f-aa10-42de-bec3-f6fe6f44932e
Kapsch. (2014). Digital security [Image]. Retrieved from http://follow.kapsch.net/en/details/article/security-in-the-digital-age.html
Sant Media. (2010, May 22). The Myths of Website security, SSL, and the padlock symbol. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.sant-media.co.uk/2010/05/the-myths-of-website-security-ssl-and-padlock-symbol/
Sant Media. (2010). Padlock [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.sant-media.co.uk/2010/05/the-myths-of-website-security-ssl-and-padlock-symbol/