Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Weak Points in Keeping Personal Data Safe

I’m frequently asked if it’s really safe to use credit card data on the Internet. My answer has usually been it’s as safe as using your credit card anywhere else. The weak point in data security isn’t the internet. It’s at the bank, credit card company or at the retail store storing your credit and personal information. These folks need to do more than required by current laws to encrypt and secure our data.

Hannaford BrosThis week one of our local grocery stores warned that credit card and bank debit card information has been compromised for all its Northeast and Florida customers. Hannaford Bros Co exposed approx 4.2 million card numbers between Dec 7th and March 10th. They still haven’t figured out how the data was stolen but Secret Service investigators acknowledge at least 1,800 cards have been used fraudulently already.

Meanwhile, we’re all hearing how temp workers for the State Department were peeking at Passport files of presidential candidate Barack Obama. It just goes to show how many people have access to all your personal data. It’s nice to know that monitoring may be done for high profile people what about the rest of us? I’ve never been overly paranoid about Big Brother having my data. It’s all the little brothers who now can access it that worries me.

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