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When It Comes to Payment Cards, Frank Abagnale Gives Credit Where Credit is Due

When It Comes to Payment Cards, Frank Abagnale Gives Credit Where Credit is Due

With more than $16 billion being scammed from more than 16 million people, there is clearly an issue at hand that could use some expert insight. Those who are familiar with Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can might know that the movie was based on the memoirs of Frank Abagnale, former con man and longtime security consultant of the FBI. With his 45 years of experience with the bureau, Abagnale can safely by considered an expert in cybersecurity and fraud protection.

One thing that Abagnale has gone on the record to discuss is what he sees as the issues in personal liability associated with using a debit card. As he says, “I don’t own a debit card. I’ve never owned one. I’ve never allowed my three sons to possess one. Certainly and truly the worst financial tool ever given to the American consumer.”

Clearly, Frank is not a fan of debit cards.

His recommendation is to use credit cards instead. His reasoning makes sense, too: a compromised debit card effectively equates to the victim’s account being compromised, whereas a credit card company wipes out personal liability in the case of stolen credentials. Furthermore, if someone were to use their credit as they would a debit card, they would have an easier time building a reputable credit score - something that certainly comes in handy when there are large purchases to make later on.

Abagnale went on to describe other benefits at his talk for Google’s 2017 Security and Privacy Month:

“When you steal credit card numbers...that has a very short, short shelf life. You have to get rid of it very, very quickly. But, if I steal your name, if I steal your social security number, and your date of birth, you can’t change your name, you can’t change your social security number, you can’t change your date of birth.”

He continues in his talk, discussing the future of cybersecurity and many topics that we frequently touch on in this blog - new technologies, the changing face of authentication, the security issues of the Internet of Things. You can see his entire talk here:

Once you’ve finished watching, you’re going to want to do everything you can to keep your business data, network, and infrastructure secure. 415 IT can help. Give us a call at (415) 295-4898 to get started.

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