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Smart Technology For Safe Shoppers

24 March 2010 - 11:59 by Simon Crisp

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We all know how important safe shopping online is, not only for those consumers who may be worried about the risk of their credit or debit card details being stolen and misused, but also to the online retailers who depend upon the trust of these internet consumers for their businesses to thrive. And despite the effort of eRetailers to protect consumers, there are still cases of fraud every day. So it is reassuring that new gadgets are being developed to combat net fraud and ensure that consumers can continue their safe shopping online.

Some of the more recent advances in online retail transaction protection include SmartSwipe, a USB device. When you need to enter your credit card details online, you simply swipe your credit card through the SmartSwipe device, rather than actually entering the card details on your computer. The idea is that you are protected from the threat of theft because the device has on-board encryption technology: your card details are encrypted, then passed to the website you are using, rather than sitting on your computer, unprotected, where they might be targeted by malware and viruses when you enter your details. As a result, your risk of falling victim to these threats is significantly reduced.

Another clever piece of technology is the PAYware Mobile device from US-based VeriFone. Designed for small businesses who want to provide safe and secure credit card transactions over the iPhone, the PAYware Mobile encryption sleeve fits around 3G iPhone models, ready to accept a credit card. Once the card is swiped, the device immediately encrypts the data. Again, there is no need for unencrypted data to be stored on the phone, where it might be misused. The data remains encrypted until it hits the bank and no data is stored in the application itself.

There is little doubt that the use of these and similar technologies will become widespread over the next few years in combating online fraud.