Credit has become a pillar of the American economy. When people began to look for ways to increase convenience in transactions, credit cards became popular as an effective way to exchange money in a ‘cashless’ environment, making transactions faster and avoiding the problems associated with dealing in cash. The rise of credit merchants and the widespread use of credit for household transactions has made large financial groups such as MasterCard into catalysts for the daily flow of money between clients and businesses. With this power, though, comes responsibility, and now people are wondering how to respond to problems of credit fraud and identity theft, and where the responsibility lies for these safeguards.
In a recent attempt at technological piracy, unauthorized parties got access to data held by millions of MasterCard holders. Financial data was taken from databases and a kind of general concern ensued. MasterCard named the third-party data firm CardSystems as the point where security was breached. The problem caused a lot of confusion as consumers wondered how their personal finances would be effected. The credit companies have issued warnings regarding the possibility that individuals could have their credit information used by thieves who gain access to the pilfered information.
Still, MasterCard has made clear that cardholders themselves are not generally responsible for unathorized charges. Consumers have a responsibility to report unauthorized charges promptly, and credit companies like MasterCard work to identify the problems and stop the cash flow. Cardholders enjoy the safety of non-liability agreements that limit their personal exposure to credit theft.
In addition, MasterCard and other credit corporations have come up with new ways to safeguard credit information in order to alleviate customer concerns. New products such as MasterCard SecureCode help cardholders to protect themselves from credit fraud. SecureCode is a product that deals with a growing type of credit use: the use of credit cards over the internet. With so many cardholders putting their card numbers on the web to buy online, and a growing number of unsafe connections through ISPs, it’s essential to address the problem. ‘Open’ connections like wi-fi and cable increase the chances that hackers will somehow gain access to card numbers and be able to use them for illegal activities. Use of tools such as SecureCode helps MasterCard holders to make sure that their card numbers are safe; another important point for those trading online is to protect their connections from vulnerability using firewalls, anti-virus programs and other general network tools.
MasterCard has long been a familiar name in the ‘realtime’ market, in advertising and active in daily transactions. Now it is common online as well. If consumer trust continues, MasterCard will continue to manage finances and financial data for a long time.