Now that pin numbers have been associated with credit cards via the chip, the major credit card companies have announced that effective today, they will no longer require a signature when using a credit card. Leo says that's not only not surprising, but merchants rarely check anyway. But those who do, can still require it for their own records.
Mike needs to buy a new hard drive. Leo says they've gotten really large and really cheap. He could get a 5 TB hard drive for under $150. And SSDs have dropped below $1 a GB.
Back in 2013, Mike noticed he's had several negative dings on his credit. Leo says to check out his credit report to see if there's fraud or other inaccuracies it. If so, he can challenge them. But if he's a victim of identity theft, it's a hard thing to convince not only the credit agencies, but also the credit card companies and the IRS that he's had his identity stolen.
Larry has gotten a new credit card and it has a chip on it. Leo says that America has finally gone to the chip and PIN system, and we are now in the process of transitioning to it. The problem though, is that he didn't get a PIN with it, and he wants one. Leo says it's a steady transition. First chip and sign. Then we'll get PINs within a few years. But it's odd that American Express, which has a worldwide presence, wouldn't go with a PIN for it.
Peter had his credit cards stolen. Leo says it's a very common thing. The good news is that in the US, the banks take all the liability, and this Fall, a new credit card will come out with chips and PIN numbers to guard against theft. Another option is to sign up for one time use credit card numbers, or numbers that can be used with just one merchant.
Joe wants to know how Google Wallet works. Leo says he has to tie it to a credit or debit card, and then it charges the credit or debit cards when he makes purchases. He can also reload the wallet ahead of time to debit it. It's like EasyPass while driving.
Check out Google's AntiFraud Theft policy here.
Cassie wants to know if putting her cell phone next to her credit card would demagnetize the credit card. Leo says that there probably isn't enough magnetic power in the cell phone to demagnetize a card. They're moving away from that technology anyway, so this won't even be a concern for too much longer.
After the massive data breach at Target, Banks are finally planning to use the Chip and Pin technology, and will be done by October 2015. You'll be using your credit card, which will then ask you for a PIN. Leo says it's about time. While it won't completely prevent hackers from stealing credit cards, it will make it much harder. How will it affect online purchases? Leo says not much. Users will probably have to give some supporting information, but that's about it.
Between November 27 and December 12 of 2013, Target stores company-wide were hacked, compromising up to 40 million credit cards. The breach does not include purchases made online with Target, only in its retail stores. If you've ever used your credit or debit card at Target in the United States, it's highly recommended that you get a new card and close your current account. Canada Target stores have not been breached, however, because of their requirements for a digital chip in the card itself and a PIN. Without these two factors, a transaction can't be made.
Jay wants to know if he should keep all apps closed while shopping online. Leo says not really. The real key is to make sure he's using "https" when he's shopping. That means the traffic is encrypted. What we learned from the Target breach is that it's the security afterwards, when they're storing the credit card number. Leo says that it's often possible to set up a one time only credit card that can only be used once or only with a single merchant.
Steve was a victim of identity theft after applying for a home loan online. Leo says that all it really takes to steal your identity is your date of birth and social security number. What can he do? Lifelock is one solution. Leo says it's very frustrating and the credit reporting agencies aren't sympathetic at all. He could pay them a monthly fee, sure. Leo also says there's so much ID theft that police are drastically undermanned and just can't keep up.