Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Credit Cards

MasterCard Introduces Global Payments to Possibly Compete with Bitcoins and PayPal

MasterCard has launched MasterCard Send, a personal payments service that enables funds to be sent quickly and securely to consumers domestically and internationally. The announcement never mentioned Bitcoins by name but it certainly appears to be a reaction to competition from the rapidly-growing popularity of the new digital currency and also as a reaction to PayPal’s very popular payment system. In fact, Bitcoin is less of a currency and more […]

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What To Do if Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen in a Hack

If you’re an Anthem customer, your Social Security Number was stolen last week. See my earlier article ay http://goo.gl/M82OA9 for details. You need to protect yourself. Of course, the same protection is a good idea for everyone. You can find several good suggestions by Alan Henry in the LifeHacker Blog at http://goo.gl/CCoFzr. One that I recommend for everyone, hacked or not, is to sign up for Mint or for Personal […]

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Credit Card & Passport Holders Block RFID Snooping

U.S. and most other nations’ passports have microchips embedded in them. U.S. credit cards are starting to carry them as well. Some driver’s licenses now have embedded microhips as well. As a result, your financial and personal information is easily stolen by a stealthy form of pickpocketing. Using a Vivotech RFID credit card reader or a similar device, available on eBay for about $50, a thief can read a credit […]

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Blur Uses One-Time Use Credit Card Numbers to Block Hackers

Worried about using your credit card online? You shouldn’t be. Using a credit card or debit card online is safer than using checks or credit cards in person or in the mail. However, many people prefer the extra safety of using one-time use credit card numbers. That means your real credit card number is never visible to the seller. Hackers can’t steal what they don’t have.

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Why You Need a Temporary Credit Card Number

This may not be a true privacy issue but it certainly is important for security and peace of mind. One of the things I detest about many web sites is that when you sign up for a subscription and pay with a credit card, the site automatically renews your subscription when it expires. Some web sites will automatically renew without even the courtesy of notifying you in advance. They keep […]

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The Cheapest Wallet that Blocks RFID Signals

Pull out your credit card and flip it over. If the back is marked with the words “PayPass,” “Blink,” or the wi-fi symbol that serves as the universal symbol for wireless data or a few other obscure icons, it’s vulnerable to an uber-stealthy form of pickpocketing. Anyone with a Vivotech RFID credit card reader (available for less than $50 on eBay) can invisibly read your credit card information even if […]

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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 […]

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Using a Credit Card Online is Safer than Sending a Check in the Mail

Many people have a phobia about using credit cards online. They think it is unsafe to do so as hackers supposedly theoretically could steal the credit card numbers as the information passes through the networks. However, experience has proven the opposite to be true. In fact, using a credit card online is safer than using it in a store and even much safer than sending a check in the mail. […]

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How to be Safe when Shopping Online

Online safety is something we all need to be concerned with. However, the safe use of credit cards online seems doubly important as we enter the holiday shopping period. Consumers will spend roughly 1.2 trillion dollars in online shopping this year, according to Statista at http://goo.gl/DomMya. That number is expected to double in the next four years. Almost all of the transactions will be paid with a credit card, a debit […]

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Using a Credit Card Online is Safer than Using It in a Store

Many people have a phobia about using credit cards online. They think it is unsafe to do so as hackers supposedly can steal the credit card numbers as the information passes through the networks. Indeed, there was some truth to that years ago when the World Wide Web was in its infancy and SSL encryption was not yet in widespread use. Technology has improved since those days and using a […]

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