Mastercard improve Internet Security

We’ve talked a lot in previous blogs about the demise of the password as a way of staying on top of your internet security.

As technology becomes more advanced, so do the hackers who try and take advantage. As a result, our internet security and methods of protecting our businesses online need to become more advanced as well. Recently, credit card firm Mastercard confirmed that they will accept selfie photos and fingerprints as an alternative to passwords when verifying IDs for online payments.

The company had previously run a trial of this method in the US and Netherlands last year. The trail was really successful and the company told the BBC that 92% of its test subjects preferred the new system to passwords.

The plan is to rollout the new ID checks this summer in the UK, US, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

So how does it work?

In order to use the new ID check system, customers will need to download an app to their PC, tablet or smartphone.

When purchasing something online, you would enter your credit card details as normal. But, the app ensures that a further identification check is required. You will be asked to look at your phone’s camera or use its fingerprint sensor rather than be told to type in selected letters from their password, as is the case at the moment. If you decide to go for a selfie, you will have to blink into the camera to prove you are not just holding up a photo.

How will this boost my internet security?

The theory is that this kind of ID method is not susceptible to fraud in the same way that a password is. It’s often easy to guess a password (they’re usually ‘password’ or ‘123456’) or to steal or hack the passwords of people’s computers. With methods such as fingerprints and facial recognition, it’s much more difficult to dupe, although experts say it is possible.

So although this new ID method is a big step towards being safer online, it is not completely safe and you and your company still need to speak to your IT support about internet security.