Friday, April 2, 2010

How good is your credit and is your data safe?

Having good credit along with the gold plated credit card has been a good thing. The gold card gets you privileges and access to  the goods things in life, "I really have arrived"! Assuming your credit is good and has not been affected by the recession, how safe is your credit card # and data?


Based on various large security breaches, such as the infamous Heartland breach, it time to improve credit card security.


To improve the safety of consumer credit card data, Ma has implemented The Massachusetts Data Protection Law which required companies to take additional steps to secure data. These measure help in Ma, but does not solve the problem of credit card theft.


After the Heartland security breach, the House introduced the Data Breach Notification Act. The law requires persons engaged in interstate commerce and in possession of  sensitive data to disclose breach of such information.


What can be done to improve credit card security? Many other countries outside the US have implemented smart card technology. The US government must at some point, mandate credit card companies to implement smart cards. Smart card technology could have helped prevent the Heartland breach, where intruders hacked into systems used to process millions of card transactions affecting 100,000 of merchants. To prevent the data from being compromised, smart cards generate one time response to financial transaction requests from banks, so the data stream is good for one transaction.


Implementing smart cards is a must,  and transferring the liability to credit card issuers from merchants can discourage or prevent fraud. Culpability for fraud  should be determine by the courts thus giving credit card companies the incentive to implement smart cards and chip and pin technologies.


Consumers need to be responsible consumers, keep your computer security up to date, and check for virus / malware on a regular basis. Checking your credit card statements and credit reports is advisable.  Enjoy your well earned privileges, live large.

3 comments:

Teresa @ ♥ TOO MANY HEARTBEATS ♥ said...

Stopping by from FaceBook! After almost 20 years of marriage and dealing with debt for far too many of those, we finally learned that there is absolutely no such thing as a 'good credit card'! Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to have credit cards, or any kind of 'credit' for that matter, to have a really great life and/or to have 'the things' you may want. There is absolutely too much fuss made about the almighty credit score. There are plenty of legit underwriters who will work with you even it you don't have one. Besides, way too many people are worried about 'living large' these days. That's why many folks are in the position they're in right now. Wanting way more than they can afford, thus the use of credit cards. If you want something, save up and pay for it in cash. That's what we do now and it is such an amazing, freeing feeling!

Oh, and I know you're going to say that many people use them and pay them off every month so that they can benefit from all those so-called rewards. That is all fine and good IF they read the fine print, which many don't AND/OR until something catastrophic happens (like a natural disaster, car accident, major medical event, death in the family, etc.) and you are stuck with that big balance and can't afford to pay it off. Then what?
It is a huge, unnecessary gamble that just isn't worth it.

We have been debt free for several years now, except for our home that we built 2 years ago. We put down quite a bit of money and pay no PMI. Since we've been able to pay off ALL our other debts, we are about to refinance it to a 15 year fixed rate and we will pay even more than is required. We should have it paid off in about 7 years. It's a great plan!

Besides, I love the old saying, 'The best things in life aren't things!'

Have a great weekend!

Teresa

rene volpi said...

Very interesting blog, Jonathan.
You are providing a service to people for free. Can't beat that!
See if you like my blog "Tales from Here and There" It's guaranteed to get and keep your attention.
I'd be willing to trade subscriptions if you like.
Let me know.
I'm at:
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Best,
René

Jonathan Brock's Editorials said...

Thanks for leaving such great comments! Rene, I will check out your blog some time today!