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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

High Percentage of Gov't Websites Fail Security, and Accessibility Tests - 2017 Study Findings

Nov. 27, 2017- At least 91 percent of the most popular U.S. government websites are failing to perform in at least one key metric, including page load speed, user friendliness and security, according to a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

article by By Ray Downs for United Press International (UPI)                                                        
The ITIF report analyzed 500 government websites for its latest report. Two of the metrics looked at were desktop page-load speed and mobile page-load speed. Of the 500 websites, 63 percent of websites passed the test in desktop page-load speed, while only 27 percent passed the test for mobile page-load speed.

With almost three-quarters of government websites having slow mobile page-load speeds, navigating those sites is also a problem with only 61 percent of websites are mobile friendly, according to the report. Security is still a concern for some government websites, with only 71 percent passing the Secure Sockets Layer certificates test. However, that was a 4 percent improvement from the previous test conducted by ITIF.

"As more people go online for public services and as security threats continue to evolve, it is important for federal websites to be more convenient, accessible, and secure," ITIF research fellow Galia Nurko told FCW Magazine. "This report shows a significant amount of work left to be done to modernize federal websites and ensure that, as technology advances, federal websites improve in turn."

The ITIF report also found that 40 percent of government websites weren't accessible to people with disabilities.
"Issues with accessibility range from poor contrast on websites to a lack of labels, which may prevent the website from being easily navigated by someone using a screen reader, assistive technology commonly used by individuals who are blind," the report said.
To improve website security and use, ITIF recommended the federal government launch a website modernization sprint to fix known problems; require federal websites to meet basic desktop and mobile page-load speeds; launch a website consolidation initiative; require all federal agencies to report website analytics; appoint a federal CIO to lead federal IT modernization efforts; and encourage nonexecutive agencies and branches of government to adopt federal website standards and practices.

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