Thursday, 4 January 2007

Security in shopping

I've just been shopping and had two things happen that made me question the security of the whole process.

The first one has bugged me for a while and its about credit card security. It seems a little bit archaic that in this day and age we are required to enter a PIN when using EFTPOS for our savings accounts, but no PIN is required for a credit account. So you'd think it would be easy enough to just forge the signature right? Well, you don't even need to go to the trouble of doing that.

Many checkouts now allow you to swipe your card yourself. You swipe, you sign, and then they check your signature - but how easy would it be for someone to swap the card that they swiped for a different one when checking the signature. i.e. Someone swipes a stolen card then puts down a card of there own for signature verification - the switch could be easily done. I know that they could just check the number on the card, but the operators barely seem to have enough time to check the signature, let alone the card number.

The second thing that concerned me was that as I left the store I had to pass through those little posts that bleep at you if you're carrying stolen goods out. They bleeped at me because I'd bought and paid for my stuff in the electrical section & they hadn't properly de-cleansed it (or whatever they do). The lady came over and said "Oh, didn't they scan your things correctly, let me fix that for you"; she took me over to a desk and spent about 60 seconds swiping my 3 items over some sort of invisible force-field and then proceeded to carry them back through the posts again. "Good", she said, "all fixed". I wondered what the point of this whole charade was when I'd already passed through the only set of posts I had to when leaving the store & they didn't even bother asking to look in the backpack that I was carrying over my shoulder!!!! Pointless!

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