JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- These days you can pay your parking tickets online, but how secure is the City of Jacksonville's public parking payment site?
Ron Smith is Executive Director of IT for Florida State College of Jacksonville. He said before you place your trust in a website you have to be confident that the computer you are using is well secured.
"That means making sure that your anti-virus is up to date," said Smith.
Smith said hackers are always looking for vulnerable spots and it is the same whether it is your personal computer or a big government website.
Using the website QUALYS SSL LABS, we tested several local government websites for weaknesses.
"It is looking to see if certain patches are applied to servers to see if the site can be trusted," said Smith.
Here were some of the results:
COJ property Appraiser: B
Clay County Tax Collector: B
Putnam County: B
But the website the City of Jacksonville use for paying parking tickets had the lowest grade, an 'F'.
"In looking at the report it says what they failed to do is keep their certificate not valid or certificate's not up to date," said Smith. "Realistically I feel uncomfortably providing information to a site that is not trusted."
We contacted the city to see if they were aware of the rating and they were not.
Spokesperson Dave Decamp said the site is operated by Duncan Solutions, a contracted vendor, and they will contact them.
They did, and when we checked the site again, it was clear the company had beefed up its security,the site now has an A- rating.
James Kennedy with Duncan Solutions responded via email.
The statement reads in part: Duncan recently identified such a vulnerability.obtained a patch, and had planned to apply the patch during the next scheduled maintenance update. In light of today's media interest which could result in the disclosure of this vulnerability, Duncan expedited the deployment of this patch. As of now, the vulnerability has been mitigated, Duncan has no evidence or reports from any source that this vulnerability resulted in any data loss or security breach.
To test other sites you can use the link below: