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Privacy in the digital age: Preventing data breaches and combating cybercrime


The credit cards and debit cards most Americans use are surprisingly vulnerable to fraud, relying on decades-old technology that makes them susceptible. American credit and debit card data are usually stored unencrypted on a magnetic stripe on the back of each card. Thieves can cheaply and easily “skim” the data off of this magnetic stripe when a credit or debit card is swiped and create a counterfeit card that can access a cardholder’s account at an ATM.

Many other countries have shifted or are in the process of shifting to what is known as EMV “smart cards” – or chip and pin technology, which utilizes multiple layers of security – including a computer chip in each card that stores and transmits encrypted data, as well as a unique identifier that can change with each transaction.

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