128 Bit Encryption More Secure than the Waiter

Have you avoided purchasing items online out of fear of identity theft and credit card fraud?

According to a 2010 report from the US Better Business Bureau, online identity theft is less severe, is quicker to be detected, and on most occasions the amount of financial damage to the victim of offline identity theft is greater.

Last year only 15% of all credit card fraud was directly attributable to online activity. It’s time to take your head out of the sand.

While the media loves to take any sensational grave and rob it, this is one that has a lot of facts and a touch of reality checking that needs to be applied. In short, 128 bit encryption is FAR more secure than the kid you hand your card to when out for eats.

A cell phone camera shot of your credit card – both sides – is worth 85 cents. A waiter can do well selling 100+ of those a day. Think about that next time you hand it over to them yet repeat “I don’t shop online” like it’s a security mantra.

According to a recent consumer study, almost half of all identity theft occurred when personal information, kept on paper, landed in the wrong hands. Most came from tossed out phone bills, hydro bills and so on. Another large chunk of fraud was attributed to information being volunteered in street or phone surveys, the target is promised a prize.. all they need to do is give up their name, age, phone number and address… in case they win.

Employees of a Staples location in BC were busted just last year, for skimming debit and credit card info (taking a swipe and saving the info for sale later) right at the till.

I was at a golf course a couple years back and nearly passed out when I overhead a woman on her cell phone audibly giving up her credit card number to pay a bill.

How often have you been on your cordless phone, this year alone, repeating personal info to the bank or hydro company to prove it’s you? It’s infinitely easier to monitor a cordless phone than to take control of your ipad.

GRANTED, once credit card info has been obtained, the net is a festoon of easy pickens’  for verifying the card is still active. Any online business deals with issue of orders being placed purely to see if the thing works, but it’s not where the theft originates.

The same Better Business Bureau report indicated those who use online banking and purchasing regularly, are also likely to notice anomalies quicker, making capture and clean up much less hassle.

To let fear mongering force you to avoid the convenience and simplicity of using online shopping, banking and accounting tools is absurd when a bit of knowledge is all you need to make it safe.

20 Responses

  1. Gauge M
    Gauge M July 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

    I’ve always been apprehensive but you have a good point. It’s kind of like driving to avert the dangers of flying.

  2. Kathy
    Kathy July 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

    Hi there Jocool. I have been reading your blog for a while. I really love the style with which you approach topics. The touch of sarcasm is perfect. I do shop online by the way, it’s great for people in remote areas.

  3. Maiya
    Maiya July 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

    Thanks for the vindication, my husband is constantly bugging me about ordering online but it’s convenient and you can get items not always available in your own area.

  4. Greg
    Greg July 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    Not only is it secure, but many places will simply not deal with you otherwise. Ever try to get a domain or hosting with a check?

  5. Mostly Mary
    Mostly Mary July 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

    Hi! I love online shopping, it never got me in trouble. But I did have my identity stolen while traveling once.. they used my drivers license and credit card info. They insisted on my DL to prove it was me.. but in the end it was all they needed to make full use of my name.

  6. Rebecca
    Rebecca July 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    Kudos. True true true!

  7. Douglas
    Douglas July 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    Not sure where I would be if I were afraid to online bank and order etc. It’s just part of life now. Better to learn security than to avoid progress I say.

  8. Sue and Anthony
    Sue and Anthony July 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    Bravo! Yes and yes!

  9. Mark D.
    Mark D. July 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

    My card info was stolen at a restaurant. That was the only time I used it all month and they did take it to the back even though the till was at the door. Probably just like you said too, cell camera. Creeps.

  10. Libby
    Libby July 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

    I won’t shop online. I just won’t. I will only hand it to certain people too.

  11. sharon
    sharon July 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

    Well so far all your articles rock. Love this one too. Keep it up JOCOOL!

  12. Kathy W
    Kathy W July 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

    Too true, all of it. My cc info was stolen, I thought it was online but turns out it was tested online. It was stolen from a bill I hucked in the garbage.

  13. Henk
    Henk July 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

    A few years back I noticed in a hamburger joint in France that the tickets were being picked up by the neighborhood kids. When I checked a ticket, I noticed the name AND CC number in it’s entirety on the ticket! Talk about free phone top-ups and other free resources for the kids! No online shopping or hacking required.

  14. Jess Salmon
    Jess Salmon July 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |

    My brother suggested I’d like this website. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. Thanks!

  15. Retha Autery
    Retha Autery July 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm |


  16. Richard
    Richard August 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm |

    Uhhh wow. Never thought about it like that but yah I’ve actually flirted with disaster a few times myself.

  17. SamIam
    SamIam August 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    I’m amazed!

  18. Greg
    Greg September 4, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    I liked your article, thanks to google I found you

  19. Andy
    Andy September 8, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    Magnificent! (As usual. 😛 )

  20. Jerry
    Jerry September 15, 2011 at 7:54 am |

    Well done, there is not enough content posted about this stuff (not particularly good anyway). Cheers!

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