Thursday, September 28, 2017

Will Chip Technology Really Make Your Credit Card More Secure?



The government is promising to make your credit cards more secure. In fact they are going to require that every card have an embedded chip built-in by fall of 2015.

The goal is provide better security than the old swiping method and hopefully avoid the problems of fraud caused by hackers at Target and other retailers.

The old swipe machines will eventually be laid to rest. So sometime probably after October, 2015, retailers will be liable for fraudulent purchases as a result of using one of the older swiping devices.

Every other economic power nation uses these chip cards, the U.S. is the last to come online. Why?

Credit cards companies have fought this due to the pricier expense of card production. Payment terminals are also costly to upgrade causing retailers to turn the other cheek. The complexity of the entire U.S. credit card system is also an area of concern as the two main credit card players, Visa and Mastercard, are interfaced between retailers seeking easy transactions and banks seeking secure transactions.

While adoption of chip cards has slogged along, fraud in the U.S. has risen. Those magnetic stripe cards, in use in the U.S. since the 1970s, are easy to clone.

According to a report from BI Intelligence, The U.S. accounted for 51% of global payment fraud costs in 2013. The cost of U.S. payment card fraud grew by 29% in 2013, from $5.5 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion last year.

Experts claim the chipped cards will make it all safer. Three firms have combined for the most widely used chipped card called "EMV", representing those that developed the technology Europay, Mastercard and Visa.

EMV cards include a microchip that creates single-use codes for every transaction instead of relying on the card number, making the data useless if it's stolen. Some experts believe these this technology could cut some form of credit card fraud in half.

Citing a United Kingdom study, a research firm, Aite Group, said following chip card adoption, counterfeit card fraud dropped in the U.K. to $67 million in 2013 from a whopping $151 million in 2004. Fraud from lost and stolen cards also dropped by a third during the same period.

So how are the chip cards used? One way is to require buyers to enter a passcode personal identification number or PIN after the chip has been read. This effectively protects them from both counterfeit cards and the use of lost and stolen cards.

The other type of transaction reads the chip, but then asks for the signature. A little like what we have today without the magnetic stripe.

It appears the chip and sign method is what the U.S. will use first. Walmart is first on-board, currently the only major retailer accepting chip cards in its stores. Square has announced they are launching new technology that will use the chip and sign methodology on mobile devices, a boost for retailers. Some however believe thieves will adjust to this quickly and fraud will occur at current levels.

Until the PIN and chip method are fully in place, don't expect to feel fully secure from credit card fraud. Experts believe it could take several years for this system to be put in place unless another major breach occurs and consumers start screaming for a major change.




George Rosenthal is a founder and partner with ThrottleNet Inc.. ThrottleNet offers an array of technology services and products to help business owners achieve their corporate goals and accelerate business growth. These include cloud computing, custom software and mobile application development, and outsourced Managed Network Services which helps companies improve their technology uptime and IT capabilities while, at the same time, reduces costs.

Monday, September 18, 2017

10 Life Hacks for Seniors Which May Prevent Insomnia

1. Make Changes in the Bedroom
Family caregivers should make sure their loved one`s bedroom is the most comfortable place for them. Your loved one`s sleeping area should be comforting and all the outside lights should be blocked by using curtains which may not cause sleep disruption.

2. Don`t Consume Heavy Meals
Eating heavy meals and high fat foods may leads to a distressful sleep in some seniors. Your loved ones can choose whole grain foods, smoothies, and drink more water which may provide a comforting sound sleep.

3. Avoid Electronic Device around the Bed
Seniors may have a hard time sleeping if they have a TV or laptops in their bedroom. These electronic devices may distract your loved one`s sleep and may change their sleeping patterns. These devices may also enhance stress level of your loved ones.

4. Create a Routine before Going to Bed
To enhance melatonin which is a sleep inducing hormone, your loved ones may create soothing changes every night before going to bed. Yoga may help some seniors in getting their body and mind relaxed. Family caregivers can also suggest their loved ones to have a warm shower which may boost a comforting sleep.

5. Avoid Stimulants if Not Necessary
Caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks and high sugar foods are some of the stimulants which may cause insomnia in some seniors. Drinking coffee or black tea may prevent your loved ones from having a good night sleep. If your loved one has a habit of drinking tea everyday then he or she can consume it 6 hours before going to bed. In this way their habit may not cause sleep disruption.

6. Reduce Stress
Minimize the things which may cause stress and anxiety in your loved one`s life. Family caregivers should not put things in their loved one`s bedroom which are work reminders or sleep distracters. Stress and depression may also cause insomnia in some seniors and may make it difficult for them to sleep longer.

7. Consult a Doctor
One of the best ways to decrease insomnia in seniors is to consult a doctor. In this way your loved ones can receive an expert`s advice on treating insomnia and may reduce the stuff that is enhancing it. The doctor may go through your loved one`s medications and can provide a tailored routine and lifestyle changes for them to follow to decrease insomnia.

8. Limit Sleeping During Daytime
Senior adults who may face difficulties in sleeping at the night can limit their afternoon sleep. This may help them in feeling sleepier during the night. Your loved ones can avoid daytime sleep entirely which may make them more likely to sleep longer at night.

9. Exercise
To reduce insomnia in seniors, exercise may help in regulating their sleeping patterns. Your loved ones can start aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, and doing sports which may assist them in decreasing insomnia.

10. Adapt Ways to Slow Down Brain Activity
Your loved ones can avoid mind stimulating things like TV, computer, work load pressure, and stress to ensure good sleep and to tackle insomnia. Seniors can perform calming activities before going to bed which may help in turning off their brain.