CNN Money on Online Crime

CNN Money has an article delving into the world of online credit card theft.  One of the more interesting portions includes the following:

Gaffan says these credit card numbers and data are almost never obtained by criminals as a result of legitimate online card use. More often the fraudsters get them through offline credit card number thefts in places like restaurants, when computer tapes are stolen or lost, or using “pharming” sites, which mimic a genuine bank site and dupe cardholders into entering precious private information. Another source of credit card data are the very common “phishing” scams, in which an e-mail that looks like it’s from a bank prompts someone to hand over personal data.

I get asked about the safety of online shopping on a daily basis by the clients.  I generally tell them that if your credit card is stolen from a retail corporation’s database, it really doesn’t matter if the card number got there through a website shopping cart or from the register in a physical store.

Despite all the horror stories, your sensitive information isn’t in danger because of all the new technology available out there, it’s in danger because of the possibility of giving your information to the wrong people in the first place.

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