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Pattaya Daily News

09 December 2010 :: 14:12:30 pm 47446

How Safe Are Your Credit Cards and Passports?

Although our banks are doing their best to protect us by from consumer fraud by improving security, there are those who are always one step behind them.
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Recently, banks along with other institutions such as credit card companies, computer software and passport issuing have introduced RFID chips in their products (radio frequency identification) because this technology is able to hold more information and can be read faster than the magnetic strip, but this convenience can put people at risk of having their information stolen.

Multiple questions to be answered by their customers before being able to access an account have been added and also the use of HTTPS connections to scramble transmissions in order to stop electronic eavesdroppers from gaining precious information which is a good move, but as the saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

There are millions of people surfing the net with open computer ports (the doors into the computer), allowing access or entrance into your computer for fraud. Opening a bogus email allows the download of a malicious code from the thief.

The RFID chips are common in cards used to gain access to parking garages, businesses premises and hotel rooms by swiping it across an RFID card reader and because it became a success, this technology has been introduced to credit cards and passports which have inadvertently put the holders at risk of information theft.

Keeping your card in your wallet or purse is not a deterrent from electronic pickpockets as the RFID card reader can transmit through them and is available for purchase from certain sources.

It is too easy to walk through crowds of people in a busy place such as a precinct, shopping center, station or airport while carrying a card reader in a bag or briefcase which will read cards or passports as the holder is passed by.

While using free software, it was demonstrated what information is gained from credit cards that have been read when a card reader gets within a few inches of the card. Information such as the account number, expiry date and the name of the card holder immediately appears on the computer screen.

Because the RFID system is now being used widely, a company is now selling foil sleeves that prevents the RFID cards being unknowingly read and has sold around seven million around the world.

Although no one has yet been caught swiping someone else’s credit card, independent experts say it is a real concern. Do not use debit cards for payments on the Internet, use only Credit Cards for purchases.

Ports are communication pathways from your computer to the internet. It is generally invisible to the internet and known as “stealthed”. Windows Firewall will “stealth” the Ports, but sometimes the port will become visible, allowing a hacker to find your computer and begin different methods to break down the firewalls.

Using a top rated Firewall (free for home use) will make the hacker’s task virtually impossible. The installation of a top rated Firewall and Anti Malware software are the first steps to safe internet use.

Tags: Credit card companies, RFID chips, radio frequency ID, stolen information, electronic theft, open computer ports, magnetic strips, internet hackers

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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