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Staying Secure in 2013
Anticipating the risks

The start of a new year is an opportune time to reflect on the achievements of the last twelve months and consider what needs to be accomplished over the next twelve. For consumers and professionals alike, the new year should serve as a timely reminder to think about their approach to online security in 2013. Indeed, caution should be exercised all year round, as the problem of online identity theft is obviously an annual problem rather than merely a seasonal one.

Caution should always be exercised, whether you are making an online bill payment with a bank, doing business online, accessing a site for news, entertainment or related to a hobby interest, or even accessing an online dating site. Of course, online security starts with common sense as much as it does with technology. While many sites provide a convenient and seemingly safe way to find information, news or share interests, you should always be careful about how much information you divulge about yourself to strangers online, as more unscrupulous people could be focused to capturing your identity. It is always wise therefore to be careful about sharing information relating to where you live and demographic behaviour like your age, whether you are a student, working or retired. Equally, you should be careful about what personal images and photos you upload, as they offer another window into your life, possibly giving away clues that are useful to an online criminal.

Even though these risks are known to website owners, alarmingly, even today members' access to many websites remains protected by vulnerable, static passwords, which can be pharmed or phished, making it easy to steal password information from an individual. This enables criminals to pose illegitimately as the member, either online or offline, and often for nefarious purposes. For instance, when shopping online, consumers are exposing themselves to additional risks; by disclosing personal or credit card details, sensitive information can easily be intercepted by fraudsters who will misuse information for their own personal gains.

While this raises interesting questions about who is responsible for consumers' safety online, VASCO is already helping business to address this challenge. Its DIGIPASS® authentication solution helps to mitigate against these attacks and prevent fraudsters from accessing personal details. For years, VASCO has been providing tailored solutions to protect financial transactions online. Today it is using its expertise to help protect businesses and consumers from those with fraudulent intentions who are intent on planning phishing or man-in-the-middle attacks.

VASCO's DIGIPASS for Web is a software-based strong authentication solution and is ideal for replacing static password-based security with a higher security level. It presents a secure solution for users wishing to log on to a social networking site, or for conducting banking transactions via the internet, accessing online newspapers they subscribe to, or simply carrying out purchases or transactions online. The level of security offered by DIGIPASS for Web, far exceeds the security level provided by static password systems and it is extremely easy to use. Although 2013 has only just started, thanks to VASCO, it needn't be remembered for being the year you became the victim of a security breach.

About Jan Valcke
Jan Valcke is President and Chief Operating Officer, VASCO Data Security International.

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