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 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...