suggests

now browsing by tag

 
 

#deepweb | Online shops use ‘dark patterns’ to trick you into buying and signing up for more, study suggests

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Many online shopping sites use our psychology against us by subverting user decision-making through design choices called “dark patterns,” and oftentimes, this causes shoppers to make decisions they otherwise wouldn’t.

According to a new study that analyzed data from more than 11,000 popular shopping sites, these tactics are more pervasive than most people realize.

Dark patterns coerce, steer or deceive users into making decisions that they might not if they were otherwise fully informed or given an alternative.

This includes things like using a countdown timer to pressure shoppers into “snagging a deal” even though the deal doesn’t end after the timer runs out, generating deceptive notifications in a random fashion (e.g. using a random number generator to tell shoppers how many others are “currently viewing” a product) and “confirmshaming” — when a site’s pop-up urges users to sign up and phrases the “no” option as a shameful choice, e.g., “No thanks, I like paying full price.”

It’s an increasingly common choice to implement dark patterns in the design of online spaces, including social media sites, e-commerce sites, mobile apps and video games, and the research team at Princeton wanted to get a better idea of just how often dark patterns are being used and in what ways.

Out of the 11,000 websites analyzed, researchers found that about 11 percent were using some kind of dark pattern on their user interface, and a total of 183 sites were using deceptive tactics specifically.

According to data, the more popular the site, the more likely it was to be using dark patterns.

“At best, dark patterns annoy and frustrate users,” the study’s authors said, “At worst, they can mislead and deceive users. This includes causing financial loss, tricking users into giving up vast amounts of personal data, or inducing compulsive and addictive behavior in adults and children.”

One worry about digital shops in particular is that they have a much greater ability to manipulate shoppers’ cognitive limitations and biases.

“For example, unlike brick-and-mortar stores, digital marketplaces can capture and retain user behavior information, design and mediate user interaction, and proactively reach out to users,” the study’s authors said. “Other studies have suggested that certain elements in shopping websites can influence impulse buying behavior.”

The elements to which the authors are referring are things such as product reviews and ratings, discounts and quick add-to-cart buttons, which are all meant to impact a shopper’s decision-making.

The term “dark patterns” was coined by UX Specialist Harry Brignull in 2010, and he describes them as “tricks used in websites and apps that make you buy or sign up for things that you didn’t mean to.”

A new study from Princeton University found that many online shops use manipulative tactics, called dark patterns, to trick shoppers into buying and signing up for more. (Neil Godwin/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

While the tactic of using dark patterns has been studied before, those analyses relied on anecdotal data or data collected from user submissions. New research from a team at Princeton University provides the the first large-scale evidence documenting the prevalence of dark patterns.

Researchers developed an automated approach to collecting data about the user experience on shopping sites by creating a web crawler, which simulates a user browsing experience and identifies elements of the design interface. They then extracted all of the user interface designs and inspected the resulting clusters for instances of dark patterns. Finally, they categorized and labeled the dark patterns that they identified.

The research was focused solely on shopping websites for the study, and researchers used the web crawler to visit more than 11,000 of the most popular e-commerce sites worldwide, searching for dark patterns that trick people into signing up for recurring subscriptions or making unwanted purchases that result in financial loss.

They discovered 1,818 instances of dark patterns, which represented 15 dark pattern types across seven broad categories. These instances were found on 1,254 sites out of the more than 11,000 sites included in the data set, which equates to about 11 percent, and 183 sites were found to display deceptive messaging.

Researchers also identified 22 third-party entities that provide e-commerce sites with the ability to create and implement dark patterns on their sites.

The majority of dark patterns were found to be covert, deceptive and information-hiding in nature.

Covert dark patterns steer the user into making specific purchases without their knowledge — such as introducing a decoy to make certain other choices seem more appealing. Deceptive dark patterns induce false beliefs either through affirmative misstatements, misleading statements or omissions, such as a site offering up a discount that seems to be time-limited, when in reality it appears each time the web page is opened or refreshed.

Information-hiding dark tactics obscure or delay the presentation of necessary information to the user, such as when a site doesn’t disclose that additional charges will be added at the very end of checkout.

Researchers also found that most types of dark patterns work by exploiting peoples’ cognitive biases. The researchers cited these cognitive biases as main targets of dark patterns:

  • Anchoring effect: The tendency of an individual to over-rely on an initial piece of information (the “anchor”) in future decisions.
  • Bandwagon effect: The tendency of an individual to want or value something more because other people value it (or at least seem to).
  • Default effect: The tendency of an individual to choose an assigned, default option because it’s easier than seeking out other options.
  • Framing effect: The tendency of an individual to reach different conclusions from the same information when it is presented differently.
  • Scarcity bias: The tendency to place higher value on things that seem scarce.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: The tendency of an individual to carry on with an action because they have already invested time and energy into it, even if they might end up worse off overall.

The study’s authors said that users are becoming increasingly more aware of these tactics, but their new data set could be used to build further countermeasures to help consumers make more informed decisions.

“One such countermeasure could be a public-facing website that scores shopping websites based on their use of dark patterns,” the authors said. “Our data set can also enable the development of browser extensions that automatically detect and flag dark patterns.”

The researchers warned that their estimates are likely the lower bound of prevalence due to the limitations of their automated method, which only scraped text data from pages containing products on each site, the site’s cart and the checkout interface.

While this means that dark patterns are probably far more pervasive than the average online shopper realizes, a little awareness can cut down on a lot of subversive manipulation — and hopefully pad your pocketbook in the process.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. 

Source link
——————————————————————————————————

The post #deepweb | <p> Online shops use ‘dark patterns’ to trick you into buying and signing up for more, study suggests <p> appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

Study suggests nearly half of people will plug an unknown USB drive into their computer

1a92bb2d1d3e69a8b5b9160987ff20ff

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Dive Brief: A group of University of Illinois researchers released a study this week that found 48% of people will plug an unknown USB drive into their computer. To test whether hackers could use booby-trapped USBs to gain network access, last year the researchers dropped 297 USB sticks on the school’s Urbana-Champaign campus. Of those who picked up the drives, 135 people actually opened some of the device’s files. Dive Insight: Educating mobile workers about the dangers of threats like unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and visual hacking is critical to protecting the enterprise. Hackers can exploit small vulnerabilities, potentially allowing for access into enterprise systems just because of one user’s lacking security measures. And opening a unknown drive could give a hacker unfettered network access or cause a rash of malware to spread through a network. The university researchers left an HTML file on the drives that contained an image, which allowed the researchers to determine when the file was opened. The HTML file also contained a survey asking people why they had picked up the drive and opened the files inside. Very few people said they were concerned about their security and did not take precautions before opening the drive. […]

The post Study suggests nearly half of people will plug an unknown USB drive into their computer appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

Lawmaker suggests audit of Kansas child welfare agency’s treatment of same-sex couples

A Kansas lawmaker said he will seek an audit to determine whether the state Department for Children and Families discriminates against same-sex couples in foster care and adoption cases amid questions about why a Topeka councilman and his wife were granted custody of a child who had been cared for by a lesbian couple for 11 months.

The effort from Rep. Jim Ward, a Democrat from Wichita, comes after the Topeka couple, Jonathan and Allison Schumm, were charged in November with one count each of aggravated battery and four counts of endangering a child. The Department of Children and Families had recommended the couple receive custody of a child who had been in the custody of Lisa and Tesa Hines of Wichita.

Read More

The post Lawmaker suggests audit of Kansas child welfare agency’s treatment of same-sex couples appeared first on Parent Security Online.

View full post on Parent Security Online

Facebook Suggests Users Friend Dating Site Matches

MOTHERBOARD – Oct 12 -The issue has been coming up with alarming frequency for users of Tinder and OkCupid in recent months. Read More….

The post Facebook Suggests Users Friend Dating Site Matches appeared first on Dating Scams 101.

View full post on Dating Scams 101

A Billboard Suggests Tinder And Grindr’s Users To Get Tested For An STD

TECH CRUNCH – Sep 28 – The site FreeSTDCheck.org and AIDS Health Foundation is leveraging the popularity of 

The post A Billboard Suggests Tinder And Grindr’s Users To Get Tested For An STD appeared first on Dating Scams 101.

View full post on Dating Scams 101

Ashley Madison hack suggests British government workers used official email accounts to find sex

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

British government staff and council workers used their official email accounts to sign up to affairs website Ashley Madison, it has been claimed. Dozens of email addresses linked to top Westminster departments and some of the nation’s biggest local authorities have now been published online, suggesting public servants may have tried to arrange affairs whilst they were supposed to be working. The names and email addresses have been extracted from a huge data cache released by a hacking squad called The Impact Team, before being published on easily accessible web forums. Ashley Madison generally requires an email account to be verified before it can be used to arrange affairs, suggesting wannabe cheaters would use a real address. However, the list includes several emails which are obviously fake, including one entitled “tblair@labour.gov.uk” – which is quite clearly not genuine. Up to one million Brits are thought to have signed up to Ashley Madison, which claimed a total global membership of 37 million people. The effect of being named and shamed is likely to be so devastating that experts have warned cheaters could be driven to suicide if their secret shame is exposed. The full 10gb data cache is available on the […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

The post Ashley Madison hack suggests British government workers used official email accounts to find sex appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

Women should be more alert while posting pictures on social media, suggests celeb hacker

Women should be more alert while posting pictures on social media, suggests celeb hacker

India’s only ‘ethical hacker’ Ankit Fadia says to stop cyber crimes vulnerable targets like women, should be more alert about posting their pics. Admitting that a large section of cyber crime victims are women, Fadia suggests any suspicion or misgivings […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

View full post on National Cyber Security