Personal Finance: The Hi-Tech Investor - Covered against the cyberspace crooks
Sunday 31 January 1999
Research by NOP found that 75 per cent of internet users who have not disclosed their credit card details online withheld them because of security concerns. There are two main security risks on the net: interception of sensitive data, such as a credit card number, and fraudulent sites.
The former is becoming less problematic for customers using well-designed sites. A change to export regulations in the US means that military-strength encryption software - which scrambles data when it is sent over the net - is now available here. Security experts never claim that any system is totally foolproof, but the latest 128-bit encryption would take so long to crack, and so much computing power, that it is simply not worth the trouble.
That belief is now being backed by an internet insurance policy underwritten by Royal & SunAlliance. The policy protects a site's customers against abuse of their bank or credit card details as a result of someone breaking the encryption system. It also protects the retailer against an attack by hackers. An insurance policy will form part of a security guarantee offered to internet users.
Some shopping sites are already offering guarantees: before Christmas, the Excite shopping channel offered a pounds 50 security guarantee to shoppers who used their credit cards on its site. And the online booksellers Amazon.com (and the UK's Amazon.co.uk) offer guarantees if your details are used fraudulently. According to Alan Telford, from Royal & SunAlliance, the policy means that using the net poses no more risk than using a credit card over the phone or by mail order. The policy has its limitations. It does not cover security breaches once customers' data reaches the company. It would not cover someone hacking into a bank or store's network and stealing credit cards. Nor does it cover fraud by staff working at the company. But the risk of someone in an internet business abusing confidential data is no greater than in any other business where customers use credit cards.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...