Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is Your Financial Information Safer Online Today Compared to 5 Years Ago?

There exist countless possibilities of loss of financial information during online transactions. With the internet the methods used to compromise data is ever changing. What identity thieves target when carrying out attacks aimed at collecting people’s confidential financial information, are internet systems that are widely being used. These usually include popular shopping carts, outdated coding schemes and database programs.

In order to address these security concerns, internet based systems that are especially meant to process confidential financial information should be designed with security being addressed from the initial design stages. Below is a list of some of the old infamous internet breaches that have been instrumental to the current security state of the internet.

List of old internet practices
Robert T. Morris develops the Internet worm in 1988
TCP spoofing attacks
The Melissa worm (very problematic to email systems)
VBScript worm like the "ILOVEYOU"
Flash worms (SQL Slammer worm)

Today’s tools/resources that make the internet safer to use compared to 5-10 years ago.
Some of the popular avenues being used by hackers and fraudsters to access privileged financial information are through: a web server, the link between a computer and the Merchant site and the consumer’s computer.
  • Firewall systems designed for private network systems to stop unauthorized access to this system
  • Data encryption, involves converting of data into a more secure form to prevent it from being accessed. This is fast becoming one of the most popular way to protective sensitive information
  • Network Access Control, designed to keep hackers and malware out of a network.
  • Password management systems meant to keep people restricted access only to information that is relevant to their role.
  • Use of protected information Discovery Tools that are used to scan through computers to locating information that could facilitate identity theft, such information could either be credit cards, bank accounts, social security number or even driver’s license. This tool is used to seek out such sensitive information so that appropriate action can be taken to safeguard such information.
  • Secure wireless networks providing the benefits of such a network without the security lapses such a network usually causes.
  • Virtual private networks which are known to provide secured channels of communication even when a person is off the premises. This is enabled through use of a secured interface.
  • Various virus protection tools installed on computers to prevent attacks by spyware and malware software
  • Periodic vulnerability scans on computers to carry out risk assessment about information management loopholes that might exist.

The internet is filled with stories of how ordinary people have had their personal information accessed without their consent leading to fraudulent transactions being conducted in their names or worse still having their finances being accessed by fraudsters. Internet users are advised to be security cautious when submitting confidential information.

Even though the internet presents challenges in areas of financial information management. It is much safer today than it was 5-10 years to conduct business transactions over the internet. Due to increased internet security measures being applied, online transactions are increasingly gaining popularity especially among the younger generations.

Author Bio:
Blair Thomas is an online electronic payment expert, who loves all things finance and planning. He is also the co-founder of eMerchantBroker.com, the #1 High Risk processing company in the country.& If you would like to see what he's up to, add him to your Google+ circle.

Photo Credit: https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/jeffco-internet-safety-resources/