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RSA Europe 2012: People are clueless about security, says Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia founder advises we should all move to HTTPS for secure web surfing
Thu Oct 11 2012, 16:48
jimmy wales wikipedia rsa 2012

THE GENERAL PUBLIC knows nothing about security, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales declared today.

Speaking at the RSA Europe 2012 security conference in London today, Wales said, "Generally speaking the general public have very little concept of [internet security]."

Wales said that the problem is that people have default assumptions that "are sometimes quite false".

"They assume that by going on Facebook... "people can't see my stuff because I have a password and have to log in, so its secure', he said.

"It hasn't occurred to them because they know nothing about it at all that they have just sent out packets over the WiFi and people on the same network can see."

To combat this problem, Wales said that internet users should move to the more secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) communications protocol.

"My view is that in the longer term, we should all be moving to HTTPS everywhere, to secure connections to every website at all times."

Wales explained how he had recently read a blog by a Google engineer who said the move to encryption doesn't cost all that much.

"There's a long running dispute that [encryption] is expensive to do but now it's becoming clear that we can afford to do it," Wales added. "That is something that we should all be doing because we should be concerned about session hijacking."

The comments came following a discussion over the upcoming Communications Data Bill that's being pushed through Parliament by the UK government at the moment. Wales made it clear his views are not in line with those in the UK government that want to have more access to people's personal data. µ


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