What Will You Share Online?

Privacy has and I venture always will be a hot topic when dealing with the internet. If you are a Facebook fan, do you recall a recent post being circulated that indicated to look at the address bar while in Facebook? You were to determine whether your present location prefix was http or https.  The (s) at the end of http in the URL indicates the information shared is being done so via secure settings.  But, how many people really look for this and/or that telltale closed padlock that could also exist on the lower right of their browser?

Amazon.com is more trusted than a bank

I want to share with you an actual conversation that occurred in my Chiropractor’s office the other day.  I had my IPad out as usual while waiting and this usually creates a few questions. The conversation moved on to internet access and how people use the internet. The receptionist, who is approximately 60 years of age, made the statement that she doesn’t understand how anyone could use internet banking. To do financial transactions online is just too risky.  I asked her if she ever purchased anything online, and she responded that she did. She even added that the sites she goes to she “knows” are safe.  I asked her how she knows and she responded “I trust the companies”.

As we continued talking, I told her that I felt that the bank was much safer to deal with online because of a variety of issues:

  • The banks are regulated and are mandated to make sure through multiple different strategies that our transactions are safe
  • The banks already use the internet to do transactions themselves whether we partake or not
  •  Banks have a larger stake in our safety than does any other random vendor online

What creates trust on the internet?

The interesting issue here is that even armed with this knowledge, she was not convinced that her bank was at least as safe as Amazon.  I wonder if this has to do with the advertising and global presence of companies like this as opposed to the businesslike demeanor of her local bank.  Or maybe it is the locality that used to instill trust, but now when it is coupled with the World Wide Web, presents an image of distrust – or, at least incompetence with new technology.

So now I begin to wonder.  I know many people who blurt out on Facebook personal information, when they will be out of town and the like, but are oblivious to the securities on the site. I also know many of these same people who will not utilize their bank’s online features because they are unsafe.  They have been using Facebook for 3 years but have been with their bank for 20.  What is up with this?  In addition, they will click randomly on links that cause malicious events on their computer (could even be installing keyloggers) then trot on down to Amazon.com or TigerDirect to make a purchase.

 I am not saying that these websites are not secure – I use them myself. I just do not understand the rational as to what is secure and what is not. And once again, I have posted more questions than answers!!

 In weeks past, we have discussed many elements of social interaction on the internet and one of these may, indeed be an indicator as to why people trust on the internet the way they do.  Facebook comes up again as a huge meeting place for people on the internet. People trust people.  When a person visits a social site each day or even each week and see others in their group trusting online businesses, they are much more likely to trust them also. In addition, just the presence of these businesses as advertisements on the social networking page can add to that trust factor.  Does the local bank advertise online? Probably not.

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About Robyn Gotch

After many years of quilting, sewing and long-arm quilting for myself, I felt it was time to offer these same services to the public. You will find that because I am a quilter myself, your projects will be treated with the same care and respect that I do my own.

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Metablogging, mobile, Society, Trust, Workplace. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Your interaction with the receptionist was interesting to me. My dad is 60 and he has currently begun to learn to use the internet in the last year or so. He is extremely cautious when it comes to entering his peronal information into online databases such as for banking purposes or when he is ordering something. I however am 21 and have been brought up using the internet and technology for as long as I can remember and I feel very little concern when doing work online involving my personal information. It’s amazing how different the attitudes about technology can be when they are spread across different generations of people.

  2. I have a question for you (it is ok not to answer) do you use checks? This seems to be another trend in handling money – going all plastic. In fact, when shopping the other day, I noticed some interesting things

    1. At Bath & Bodyworks, they carry remote checkout units that swipe your card and print your receipt, but also they offer to email you a copy on the spot too! No more worrying about losing that receipt before you get home to write it in the register because as most of us know, we hate standing there to do all that with someone waiting behind us – might as well be writing a check!

    2. Target swiped my driver’s license as a way of verifying my identification when using my debit card.

    I think that many of these advances are very cool and even useful, but I also think that it may be prudent to NOT put all my money in one account. I find I feel more comfortable keeping a stash of money in a savings or other checking account just in case the unthinkable would happen.

    Does this sound paranoid? I guess so, but then again it could be worse. My first husband hid pint mason jars with rice and cash buried all over the barn.

  3. Robin, I’ve had a similar situation with my 60-year-old uncle. He thinks that buying things online is “scary” and that having your personal information on Facebook is too invasive (however, he did ask if there was a way he could look at other people’s profiles without actually signing up for Facebook..ha!) and when you start explaining how you can control privacy setting or about how purchases are protected online, he gives me this blank stare and totally tunes out. It’s almost like he’s scared that he’ll lose his bank information and identity in the black hole he views as the internet.

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