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100 million records compromised

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Tuesday January 9, 2007 )

What these people don’t understand is that it’s generally not we small ecommerce merchants that are the problem and not shopping online doesn’t make them a heck of a lot more safer. If they are taxpayers, ratepayers, have a medical record, have taken out a loan or a credit card; they are still in danger – whether information is in a physical file, on a computer or especially a computer connected to the Internet. We no longer “own” data about ourselves in that we don’t have total control over it.

On the positive side, news such as this does help make the online shopping public a little more cautious in their Internet transactions and given that, site owners need to take special steps to reassure their site visitors that their site and business is solid and secure.

Related articles:

Free security seals for your web site
Minimizing credit card fraud
Anti-hacking tips for home based online business

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According to a privacy information clearinghouse; over 100 million records containing the confidential data of U.S. residents have been compromised by security breaches since February 2005.

I’m sure this doesn’t actually mean 1 in 3 Americans have had sensitive data illegally accessed, there would be some multiple accesses on the same people, but whether it’s 1 million unique records or 100 million, it’s a major problem.

For the most part, it’s not the little guys, the small online businesses responsible for the security breaches, but major corporations and government departments. Small targets usually aren’t all that attractive for hackers given the risks involved. Greed or boasting rights also plays in role in the targets they select.

But, as a result of these horrid statistics, expect card issuing companies to demand PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance from *all* merchants, large and small, very soon. It’s my understanding that American Express has already headed down this path.

While ecommerce activity is ever increasing as more people shop online, there’s still quite a few consumers that refuse to shop or carry out any sort of transaction directly via the Internet because of headlines such as these being carried by major media outlets.

What these people don’t understand is that it’s generally not we small ecommerce merchants that are the problem and not shopping online doesn’t make them a heck of a lot more safer. If they are taxpayers, ratepayers, have a medical record, have taken out a loan or a credit card; they are still in danger – whether information is in a physical file, on a computer or especially a computer connected to the Internet. We no longer “own” data about ourselves in that we don’t have total control over it.

On the positive side, news such as this does help make the online shopping public a little more cautious in their Internet transactions and given that, site owners need to take special steps to reassure their site visitors that their site and business is solid and secure.

Related articles:

Free security seals for your web site
Minimizing credit card fraud
Anti-hacking tips for home based online business



 

 
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