Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

August 7, 2008

A Solution for Credit Card Theft and Risk

Hacking and identity theft has made the big time news once again. A worldwide ring of 11 people that compromised 41 million credit and debit cards have been exposed. The time was that when you received a credit or debit card, you were pretty much married to it. You used the card until the time that it expired and sometimes groused when they sent you a brand new one. After all, sameness is a comfort to many people. That desire for sameness inspires customers to frequent traditional retailers that may not be up to snuff on data security, creating fear when data is compromised, an event that is almost a daily fact of life.

Most of the time, thieves focus on regional or national store chains where people shop that have a few extra dollars to spare. Those are exactly the kind of people that thieves are looking for, which reduces their changes of opposition when making a charge. Allegedly, these hacks didn’t use traditional attacks via the internet, but compromised wireless networks at physical locations by finding security leaks. The conspirators tapped into the retailers’ networks for processing credit cards and intercepted customers’ PINs along with debit and credit numbers that were stored there.

What can an honest citizen do to protect personal interests? There seems to be a constant merry-go-round of compromise where personal information is concerned from the big three credit agencies to the smallest retailer. The sameness that used to reassure big spenders is the same predictability that is being used against them. Access to the world economy via a credit card has become expected and risky. The solution?

Don’t allow banks to attach debit credit cards to any long-term personal bank account. That convenience is dangerous and unnecessary, even though the bank will ply your confidence with all manner of security safeguards and policies with the hope of creating bank fees and holding your money.

The idea of having a traditional credit card may seem to be a wonderful tool, but the sameness of the credit card information itself can easily compromise personal security and identity, resulting in loss or at least, a large degree of hassle. Furthermore, when you make an error in judgment, you risk losing a healthy penalty to the issuing institution, thus making the banking community richer at your expense.

If you must have credit card access to the world economy, one solution remains that is considerably more secure than traditional methods. Get a debit card that is sold at a variety of drug stores and grocery outlets. Immediately, you limit your losses with allegedly the same guarantees as a regular Visa or Mastercard. You limit your expenses to a modest monthly charge without bank chargebacks and penalties. On some cards, deposits charges are waved as a reward for certain behaviors, for example, direct deposit of your paycheck or cashing checks at a certain retailer.

However, the strength behind using a debit card that you purchase at a store is simple disposability. Regardless of what the expiration date is on the card, simply limit the period of time that you use the debit card to just a few months. Drain the cash you have put on the card and get a new one. You are protected from long-term vulnerabilities to the system that is designed more for the convenience of the system than the consumer. What is involved is simply a different way of thinking using disposable cash-based credit. Cash is best, but if you can’t deal with cash, protect your name without risking your large accounts and wealth. Bankers will still get wealthy, but much less so and you will protect yourself from risk.

~ E. Manning

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

    Comment by Stacey Derbinshire — August 7, 2008 @ 1:00 am


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