#creditcards #radioactive #HeartbleedI'm not only feeling old age in my bones, I'm waking up! 'Welcome to the new age, to the new age; This is it, the apocalypse.' The age where we are merely plastic numbers leaving digital footprints.
A digital era where credit cards are not only a convenience, but a necessity in real life and online. In real life credit cards are susceptible to Credit Card Skimming at Gas Pumps, ATMs, etc. (skimmers are devices illegally installed to record information from the credit/debit card’s magnetic strips) Currently online; the bug Heartbleed allows hackers to steal information without leaving a trace. (AppCheck for Heartbleed vulnerability). 'January 17, 2007 hackers accessed 47 million T.J. Maxx customers credit cards, debit cards, checking information.' (read more T.J. Maxx Computer Systems Intrusion: Press Releases). 'Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 (2013), Target Corp estimates that 40 million customers credit card data were breached by hackers.' (More information is available at Target’s corporate website). October 26, 2012; South Carolina Internal Revenue Service was hacked, leaving "3.8 million Social Security numbers, 3.3 million bank account numbers and information for nearly 700,000 businesses stolen.USA TODAY (FAQ about the Dept. of Revenue hack attack).
Credit Card mag-stripes (magnetic stripes) have become a gold mine for hackers. So if you can't use or are required to use your credit card in enough places already, there is always the mobile credit card reader. 'Take payments anytime, anywhere. Swipe, scan or key in credit cards, sign. Many retailers offer a free card reader and app for your iPhone, iPad or Android device.' 'Welcome to the new age'.
Consumers Pay 9 cents to give Hackers free digital infoMy wake-up call came was when I entered Office Depot to merely get a 9 cent photocopy. The self-serve copying machine required a credit card! I requested to pay cash and was told I'd have to purchase a free special copy card for 9 cents to insert into the copier, instead of a credit card. Or I could pay 1 cent more to have the Store Associate print a copy from the in-store Copy & Print Depot™equipment.
For an extra 1 cent profit, the Company will be spending more because I will need the 'Xerox-certified' Store Associate to take time from a profitable custom print order; merely to show me how to operate the newfangled self-serve copier.
However, the extra 1 cent is worth it for me; especially taking into consideration hackers. "Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive - like the one on your personal computer - storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine.cbsnews.com" This includes 'social security numbers, birth certificates, bank records, income tax forms'. The information easily extracted from the copiers hard drive are sold on the black markets, globally. Today my document may be stored, but not my credit card!
Just when I thought my trip from the Twilight Zone was over, my brief flashback from Star Trek gadgets had subsided; on my drive home, I saw our local Boiled Peanut Stand was advertising 'Now Accepting Credit Cards'. More like credit cards for peanuts! 'Welcome to the new age'.
Learn and continue to surf safe, secure; at least until the next virtual radioactive meltdown of a security breach.
UPDATE:"US Computer Emergency Readiness Team and its British counterpart tell people to stop using Internet Explorer until Microsoft can fix it...that allows attackers to install malware on your computer without your permission. That malware could be used to steal personal data, track online behavior, or gain control of the computer."
May UPDATE: "Microsoft issued a fix on Thursday for a security flaw in Internet Explorer that led the Department of Homeland Security to suggest users change browsers until the problem was solved." Elizabeth Weise, USATODAY