Buying Online? Death of retail?

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Buying Online? Death of retail?

Post  ExoticWhiteMan on Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:18 pm

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/circuit-city-files-chapter-11/story.aspx?guid={D9CB8DE9-943F-4C3F-A007-24081B471F20}&dist=TNMostRead#comments

So, Circuit City is tanking. About two years ago, they fired many well paid employees, hence their stores are no longer worth walking into. This got me thinking, though, of how people are turning to buying stuff online, rather than going to Best Buy, Walmart, Target and the like. There's also been articles about people using just plastic, wanting to do away with cash, and using online supermarkets etc. All of this sounds cool and would be great if not for the following:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,422268,00.html?sPage=fnc/scitech/cybersecurity

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,448626,00.html?sPage=fnc/scitech/cybersecurity

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,398141,00.html?sPage=fnc/scitech/cybersecurity

Yes, they're all from Fox, but this isn't politics and they have a big tech section. The first two are about hackers who broke into the white house and the large hadron collider. The guys who broke into the collider basically said, "Hey, we broke in, haha" but didn't do anything, and the white house hackers supposedly were looking for foreign policy information or something. This really makes me afraid of giving out my credit card number and sending it to an online store's server, a server that can likely be infiltrated and compromised. If the friggin White House isn't safe, I doubt Best Buy is either. The third article is even worse: people installed sniffer programs onto the wireless networks of stores (real stores, not online) and had access to tens of millions of credit card numbers.

So, this sounds like pretty bad news for credit card transactions. The stores' data networks, online or not, aren't safe to hackers determined enough to get your credit card info. Unfortunately, our desire for convenience is screwing us over this way. I guess, a good idea might be to get a credit card with restrictions and limits, so that you don't lose much even if it is compromised. That could pretty much solve all of these problems. Although, most people probably won't and hackers will still thrive. It was pretty amazing, though, that a few hackers stole so much information just from a few stores.
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Re: Buying Online? Death of retail?

Post  Church1ll on Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:17 pm

Yea, and the worst part about this is some people have managed to place specialized card scanners on ATMs. These scanners look identical to your typical card scanner, except they only work if you swipe the card rather than insert it. Most people are probably smart enough to realize something's up when there are two card readers, one where you swipe and one where you insert. But unfortunately some people believe that the swipe scanner is faster and will make them worry less about losing their card to the machine. This is how these particular thieves get their prize, and due to the huge amounts of withdrawals from ATMs daily they can obtain many card numbers leading to mass identity theft. Remember that the next time you use an ATM.
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Re: Buying Online? Death of retail?

Post  PokerFace on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:33 am

Church1ll wrote:Yea, and the worst part about this is some people have managed to place specialized card scanners on ATMs. These scanners look identical to your typical card scanner, except they only work if you swipe the card rather than insert it. Most people are probably smart enough to realize something's up when there are two card readers, one where you swipe and one where you insert. But unfortunately some people believe that the swipe scanner is faster and will make them worry less about losing their card to the machine. This is how these particular thieves get their prize, and due to the huge amounts of withdrawals from ATMs daily they can obtain many card numbers leading to mass identity theft. Remember that the next time you use an ATM.

You know, I actually had no idea about that. That was a pretty clever idea on their part, but pretty bad for the rest of us. It's kind of like the way that if you mess up like...ONE letter in the URL of a bank website where you can do online banking wrong or even MySpace people steal your passwords and can do some pretty nasty things. Perhaps this is more of an ideology thing, but it's really a pain in the ya-know that this happens in general. @_@

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Re: Buying Online? Death of retail?

Post  Church1ll on Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:50 am

Well it probably could be ideologies, but also remember that these things are essentially new ways for people to steal, thus it is technically research and development as it will lead to ways people can catch them and disable them quickly and easily. But yea, you're right it could be in ideologies too.
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