Thoughts about E-commerce
Unfortunately, newspaper headlines have not been kind to the whole idea of secure online transactions. When headlines shout that sites have been hacked or cracked, most readers don’t get the details … that the perpetrator was an insider with passwords, or a government- sponsored, scientifically elite body using a number of supercomputers, in tandem, over the course of better than a week, to crack the weakest form of encryption available.
One very smart credit card company capitalized on that fear, largely based in headlines, by offering a credit card guaranteed against electronic fraud. The brilliance of that marketing program is that surveys have shown that the use of credit cards online, with encrypted sites, is actually eleven times safer than using the same credit card at a restaurant, grocery or department store or other retail establishment. The reason is simple: with an online transaction, most of the time your credit card number will not be seen by a human being. Most fraud takes place from stolen credit cards, or stolen card numbers that are a result of a person getting their hands on the card or on a physical copy of a transaction.