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How savvy are you about online security? Take the test & find out.

By deepsand ·
Before reading the findings of a study, conducted by the Univ. of Pennsylvania, based on this test, try it yourself.

Seventeen Facts American Shoppers Need to Know - But Don't

For the press release, see
For the full report, see


Topics > Privacy & Security > Privacy > Online Privacy >

How Savvy Are You About Your Online Security?

U.S. residents are "dangerously ignorant" of the data that Web site owners collect on them, a study shows.

Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

U.S. Internet users are dangerously ignorant about the types of data that Web site owners collect from them and how that data is used, a new study has found.

This lack of awareness makes U.S. Internet users vulnerable to online exploitation, such as personal information misuse, fraud, and overcharging, according a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.

For the study, titled "Open to Exploitation: American Shoppers Online and Offline" and released today, 1500 adult U.S. Internet users were asked true-or-false questions about topics such as Web site privacy policies and retailers' pricing schemes.

Failing Grades
Most respondents failed the test, correctly answering, on average, 6.7 of the 17 questions. The study's interviews, conducted between early February and mid-March 2005, yielded some findings the authors consider alarming, including:

75 percent of respondents wrongly believe that if a Web site has a privacy policy, it will not share their information with third parties.
Almost half of respondents (49 percent) can't identify "phishing" scam e-mail messages, which information thieves dress up to look as though they came from a legitimate company, such as a bank or store, to lure users into entering sensitive information. Requested information might include Social Security numbers, passwords, and bank account numbers.
62 percent of respondents don't know that an online store can simultaneously charge different prices for the same item based on information it has on different shoppers--a practice that can make users victims of what the study's authors call "price discrimination."
To address the problems identified in the study, the Annenberg Public Policy Center is proposing three measures:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission should mandate that Web sites replace the term "Privacy Policy" with "Using Your Information" to combat users' misconception that those documents are Web sites' pledges not to share their information with third parties.
Consumer education and media literacy should be taught in elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States.
By government decree, online retailers should be required to disclose what data they have collected about customers, and when and how they will use that data.
If you'd like to take the test yourself, go here.

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by beads In reply to Videos

Ummm... guilty. I missed this one as well. Probably because its been years since I have rented a video. Then again... I never saw ET either.

Living under the IT rock, it seems,

- beads

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Just because you're paranoid, ...

by deepsand In reply to Videos

doe'nt mean they're not out to get you.

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by Jellimonsta In reply to Just because you're paran ...

Too true Sand, too true!! :)

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Wish I could laugh without my back hurting.

by deepsand In reply to LOL

Owing to a degenerative disc in my lower back that's current "acting up," violent movement of the diaphram is painful.

Sneezing's a real ***** and a half!

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That sucks

by Jellimonsta In reply to Wish I could laugh withou ...

Sorry to hear about that Sand. As much as I hate drugs, I hope you have something that eases your pain.

Reminds me of when I was a kid and my Dad got a rib broken in a bar fight. We would watch the movie Gremlins over and over as we knew the Cinema scene always made him howl. We got a real kick out of seeing him cry as he was in such pain to laugh.

He got his own back on me though. When I had my appendix out he visited me in the hospital and proceeded to read a very funny adult comic book to me (Viz (ask Neil about it)). You know how hard it is to not laugh when a couple of people are rolling on the floor.

Paybacks are a *****! :)

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by deepsand In reply to That sucks

Anything like Zap Comics?

Captain ****-Gums & his Perverted Pirates where always guaranteed to have everyone exhausted fron laughter.

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Not sure

by Jellimonsta In reply to Viz?

I have never read Zap. I also have not read Viz since probably the mid nineties. Here is the site;

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Different flavor, but definitely cut from the same irreverent animal.

by deepsand In reply to Viz?

Although the free clips that I could access were quite limited, it seems to be a more "socially acceptable" publication than was Zap in the '60s.

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Video Store

by joetechsupport In reply to How savvy are you about o ...

I got that incorrect, I assumed they could share my rental info. We oughta know.

The DBA and Marketing people out there know this stuff pretty well:

The various systems matches people, profiles really, by disposable income and psychosocial factors such as lifestage, marital status, neigbourhood and ethnicity to products this 'Unit' will want to purchase. This is an old marketing concept automated to the nth degree thanks to our field. We are big brother. Or at least the people who stamp the resettlement passes, if you get my drift.

In most cases except your 'relationship' with your bank or whatever, your information remains largely anonymous in a sea of data but if anyone, say CSIS, Homeland Security or a hacker decides you present a problem, the information is there.

OZ_Media: more of my credit and debit receipts have some of the numbers removed here in Vancouver. It depends on who the business sets up their merchant account with-Squirrel, Moneris, etc Their programmers setup what your receipt looks like. It's technicaly easy to change, but the store owner won't know that.

It will be better when they show no mumbers at all. I'd also like to see Credit cards go to PINs instead of signatures, signatures are just non-sequitor to me in this day and age. Virtually all of our online credit card transactions are unprotected in that one hase to post ones' a credit card on a site like PayPal with much of your personal information.

Credit Theft Security in General? The only other way, what I do:
I visually regularly check ALL my credit credit card and account balances.
I open only as required accounts with international or online shippers. Otherwise only hold one online pay service.

If you check your cards and accounts regularly, you don't need to worry about identity theft or someone steeling your carbon copy receipt because you can jump on it if and as it happens. You will find financial institutions respect this attitude.

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Changing tape print-outs & the 4 terminal digits

by deepsand In reply to Video Store

1) Changing the tape format is not as quick & easy as one might suppose. For more on this, see my above post, at

2) The 4 terminal digits are check digits; knowing them provides no information re. the actual account no.. Furthermore, as the signed POS tape constitutes a contractual agreement to pay, it must contain some data that can be used to identify the cardholder account which is liable for such payment.

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