Have Online Payments Become Safer Than Offline?

Ten days ago, I wrote Using a Credit Card Online is Safer than Sending a Check in the Mail at https://privacyblog.com/2014/12/17/using-a-credit-card-online-is-safer-than-sending-a-check-in-the-mail. Now an article in Wired indicates the same is true for making credit card payments in a store. The in-store payments have proven to be riskier than using a credit card online. As stated in the article by Marc Summe:

“The long-standing narrative of credit card security is that offline transactions are more secure than online. Today, this narrative is more fiction than fact.

“Online transactions are more popular and secure than ever before, thanks to advancements in digital payments technology, demographic shifts, and the evolving cyber-security landscape. At the same time, offline payments seem more insecure than ever before. The outbreak of high-profile security breaches at major retailers has shed light on the fact that offline transactions are vulnerable to attack.”

Summe also writes:

“In general, big box retailers don’t make the same commitment to security as online retailers. Overhauling their entire system and taking extra security precautions is an expensive and time-consuming proposition, and so they neglect to take extra measures. This stands in contrast to online retailers, who are built from the ground-up with strict security in mind, because just one hack could destroy their business.”

He then goes on to explain how hackers easily access credit card numbers used in stores but have difficulty doing the same thing with online transactions. You can read the full article at http://www.wired.com/2014/12/have-online-payments-become-safer-than-offline.

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