While governments, security companies and software developers invest a great amount of effort in predicting and preparing for future threats, it is extremely difficult to build the “perfect” solution, which is why one doesn’t exist yet. In order to build an adaptable and customizable solution for their security concerns, organizations and individuals deploy multi-layered protection for their devices and sensitive information. WOT’s millions of annual trustworthiness ratings can help us identify trends and important data points to monitor in 2016. Although history is not destiny, 2015’s numbers give us insights from which we can make educated decisions on where to put our efforts as we move forward into the new year. Here are some of the most interesting stats from WOT in 2015.
The proportion of red WOT ratings attributed to both Malware/Viruses and Phishing. With just over 20% each, both of these account for 40.6% of the reported reasons behind red ratings. In an article we recently shared, phishing compromised an undisclosed number of LastPass accounts. Due to the nature of phishing attacks, users will need to rely on crowdsourced methods of detecting and alerting other users to them before it’s too late.
*Bonus stat: Phishing reports nearly DOUBLED from Q1 to Q3.
The proportion of total negative ratings attributed to Scams. As the internet becomes more ubiquitous and shoppers shift their habits online (44.3% global market penetration in 2015), hackers and scammers exploit the weakest link in online security: people. Relying on tricks that lead people to click dangerous links and enter passwords in places they shouldn’t, scams are common and so hard to spot. The solution for this in 2016 is crowdsourced security, benefiting from the insights, experiences and research of the masses.
Popups can be annoying, very annoying. In 2015, WOT users made a statement as the number of questionable ratings due to Ads / Pop-ups increased by 150%. Website owners need to let this figure sink in, as these monetization methods can have a strong negative impact in both user experience and site reputation.
With a sample size of over 1 million questionable (yellow) ratings, Spam accounted for 30% of the reasons. Most of us get emails from businesses and contests that we don’t remember signing up for, (and some that just don’t make any sense.) However, this number will be very important to monitor as malware authors, phishers and spammers begin to form partnerships, realizing that they can work together to achieve their ends in a more productive manner. While spam has long resembled its namesake, generally disliked and unwanted, it’s now entering the realm of a hazard that should be closely watched.
These figures offer a broad spectrum of insight, which can help you decide what layers of protection you might want to add to your web security strategy as well as best practices for website owners to improve user experience. In 2016, we’ll continue monitoring these rating trends for valuable insights.