The Internet is a convenient vehicle to transact business. Today we use the Internet to transfer money, pay bills, and purchase consumer goods anywhere in the world; all with a few keystrokes on your computer.
However, it is also a time when cyber thieves are looking for opportunities to get this information for criminal use. Thieves will try to get names, addresses, account information and personal identification information to gain access to unsuspecting consumers' accounts and credit histories. Today, Identity Theft crimes cost consumers billions of dollars annually and are one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world.
To ensure that consumers are safe when conducting transactions online, several security measures are used to protect personal financial information. Merchants use cryptography, PGP, SSL, encrypted file transfer and other methods to protect your privacy.
Cryptography is the use of mathematics to create algorithms to hid personal information. Cryptography is used to create passwords, ATM cards, and in e-commerce. Here are links for more information regarding cryptography and its use in online security:
Cryptography in ATM magnetic stripes
PGP Encryption stands for pretty good privacy, and it's a public key program that allows secure information to be transmitted electronically. PGP file encryption is often used to send confidential information electronically from an unsecure location (i.e. your home computer, etc�) to a secure location (i.e. your bank, stockbroker, etc�). Here are websites which talk about PGP encryption:
Other Online Security in addition to the use of cryptography and PGP, other measures can be taken to ensure online security. They include the use of strong passwords or creating secure passwords (mixture of numbers, letters, and characters for passwords), use of anti-virus software and anti-spyware software, and other methods. There are many measures a person can take to help with staying safe online.