Is Reimbursing Victims of Cybercrime Rewarding Bad Behaviour

Why do your customers interact and transact with you online? My guess is because you make it convenient for them to do so. Ordering goods from their armchair, or running their finances from the dining room table is so much less effort than hitting the increasingly abandoned high street.

But what would happen if the burden of responsibility fell to the customer, to ensure they had done enough to protect themselves online? Last month Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner argued that banks refunding victims of fraud are rewarding bad behaviour. The point he is trying to make is that consumers need to share in the responsibility of protecting themselves from cybercrime. Perhaps it needs to be talked about more to make people aware of the dangers of the internet too. After all, there are many different types of cybercrime and different people or organizations who may be vulnerable to it (click here for examples).

Most consumers will know that they need to have at least some form of anti-virus protection on their computer to majorly decrease the chance of their computer being compromised. However, not many anti-virus provides 100% cover so if their computer does get a virus then they will need to get a computer repair chicago service. Even fewer consumers will think that the same applies for tablet devices and smartphones. They will also know that they really should change their passwords frequently, but how many do so. Then what about using public Wi-Fi networks? How about if I choice the one-factor over the 2FA option to login? Where does the line get drawn regarding what is good online security etiquette, worthy of being reimbursed and what is not?

A change such as those proposed may make some people rethink how they conduct themselves online in the short term (it would need to be accompanied by a large campaign to get the message across), but when the Internet is used as a tool of convenience, the more barriers you put in place the less appealing it becomes and that is not good for commerce or consumers.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s comments may not be the solution to the problem of tackling online fraud and theft (many of the proposals out there today fall short), but it is encouraging to see another authority figure enter the debate.

Author: Steven Hope, Authlogics