The United States has had more than 200 years to get its election process right, but it’s still far from perfect, and the country’s voter turnout is a global embarrassment. For the 2014 midterm election, just 36 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls, the worst rate in 72 years. The showing was much better in 2012, when 58 percent of the U.S. electorate cast a ballot to choose their next president. But that still puts what is arguably the world’s oldest democracy toward the back of the pack for voter participation among developed countries. When U.S. voters do make it to the polls, they may encounter long lines, be turned away for showing the wrong ID, or even find their names have been erroneously scrubbed from voter rolls. And special provisions meant to enable military personnel and expats to vote by mail are notoriously inefficient: About 2 percent [PDF] of postal ballots are thrown out because they arrive after the voting deadline. So why can’t … [Read more...] about Online Voting Isn’t as Flawed as You Think—Just Ask Estonia
Safe 1 online banking
San Jose, CA – October 14, 2014 – Bridge Capital Holdings (NASDAQ:BBNK), whose subsidiary is Bridge Bank, a full-service professional business bank headquartered in Silicon Valley and with offices located nationwide, announced today that it has provided Digital Trends, a leading consumer technology publisher headquartered in Portland, Oregon, a $2.5 million line of credit to support its working capital needs.“We are pleased to support Digital Trends as they continue to pursue their goal of becoming the premier consumer technology content provider on the internet,” said David Feiock, assistant vice president in Bridge Bank’s San Francisco Capital Finance Team. “Digital Trends embodies the entrepreneurial spirit necessary for success and we are thrilled to be a part of their story.”“Bridge Bank is an important partner that understands our business and what it takes to keep our growth on track,” said Ian Bell, CEO and publisher of … [Read more...] about Bridge Bank Provides $2.5 Million Credit Facility to Digital Trends
Hundreds of millions of people use passwords every day — they unlock our devices, email, social networking, and even bank accounts. However, passwords are an increasingly feeble way to protect ourselves: Barely a week goes by without a major security gaffe hitting the news. This week, it’s Cisco — maker of much of the hardware that essentially powers the Internet.Right now, almost everyone is looking to move beyond passwords to multifactor authentication: requiring “something you have” or “something you are” in addition to something you know. Biometric technologies that measure eyes, fingerprints, faces, and/or voices are getting more practical, but frequently fail for some people, and are hard to bring to hundreds of millions of users.Aren’t we overlooking the obvious? Isn’t the solution to multifactor security already in our pockets?Online bankingBelieve it or not, Americans have been using multi-factor authentication for years … [Read more...] about Are smartphones the key to better online security?
Weren't we all supposed to be paying our bills with a simple point and click by now? Weren't the bricks and mortar of the traditional banking world supposed to fade away, like the rotary phone and the television knob?What happened to all those optimistic techno-prognosticators who told us that an inordinate number of Americans would be banking online by 2001?The answers are anyone's guess. But we do know thatdespite the sunniest predictions, online consumers have evidently decided that banking via PC is either not safe, not easy, or not worth the trouble to find out. And the time has come for us to examine why we're still licking envelopes, buying stamps, and trudging through the snow to the mailbox to pay our bills.The masses seemingly see e-banking as a nightmare. An acquaintance of mine, a forty-something college professor, explained it this way: "I want to be able to go touch my money whenever I choose." Huh?In another instance, a newspaper reporter told me, "I didn't work this … [Read more...] about E-Banking, Where Art Thou?
Recently I saw the inside of my local bank for the first time in years.The first thing I noticed was a long counter with individual booths containing PCs. A sign overhead beseeched me to "Try Online Banking First."Unfortunately, I had an unusual situation that day that required a real live human. There are eight teller windows at my bank, but I noticed only two tellers on duty. There were 12 people ahead of me. I stood in line for about 15 minutes, only to be told I would have to see a bank officer or submit an e-mail explanation of my problem.For all of this aggravation, I will cheerfully be charged US$2. That is my bank's standard charge for teller service.Something tells me that the proliferation of computers at the bank entrance, the absence of tellers at most of the windows, and the fee that is charged for the privilege of speaking to a teller are all designed to coerce me into banking online.But try as they might, banks are having a tough time convincing the public of the … [Read more...] about Will We Ever Bank Online?
James Van Dyke had a hunch last year that the commonly held belief that the Internet was causing an increase in identity theft and credit card fraud was not valid. Extensive research he conducted debunks many of the myths about the correlation between online activity and ID theft.Contrary to popular opinion, Van Dyke, a research analyst for Javelin Strategy and Research, found that using the Internet for bill paying and banking can reduce risk by up to 18 percent and potentially save consumers up to 60 hours of personal time and US$1,100 in the cost of paper checks and postage.His report, "Online Banking and Bill Paying: New Protection from Identity Theft," concludes that using the Internet can actually help protect consumers and businesses from two of the most common kinds of identity theft: fraudulent opening of new accounts and unauthorized use of existing accounts.Van Dyke told TechNewsWorld that his research shows a correlation to the crime figures cited in the 2003 Federal Trade … [Read more...] about INDUSTRY REPORT Identity Theft Online: Debunking the Myths
There's no doubt that online banking is widely popular in this country -- just ask the millions of customers who've signed on for the convenience it provides. As fraudsters create new scams to bilk financial services customers or to simply hijack their accounts, however, banking customer trust is on the decline.That customer trust is a powerful thing. Without trust, financial institutions could experience diminishing use of the online channel, which would have a significant impact on the bottom line for many financial institutions.Consumers are tired of fraudsters wreaking havoc on their personal financial accounts and trying to compromise their identity. The impact is anything but small -- more than 9 million Americans were victims of identify theft in 2005.Securing online accounts from malicious activity is important to consumers who -- and this may surprise some banks -- are willing to take considerable steps to protect their assets.This notion of enabling the consumer to actively … [Read more...] about Securing Your Online ID: Beyond Username and Password
For startup e-commerce companies, protecting customer data doesn't always come naturally. Small matters such as getting a business idea out of the starting gates and into the race -- not to mention winning those very first customers -- tend to overshadow the many liabilities associated with collecting and storing customer data.However, liabilities they are, no matter how big the company or whether it realizes it or not."It's sort of like those old Mickey Rooney movies, where they would get five or six people together and say, 'Let's put on a play'," Mark Rasch, former head of the Justice Department's computer crime unit and managing director of technology for FTI Consulting, told the E-Commerce Times. "People often think all they need are coders and a Web site, and the business will run itself."Alas, that's not quite the case, as companies sometimes learn the hard way.Regulatory, civil and injunctive penalties can do a company in, as can the compensatory or tort damages from being … [Read more...] about Data Liability, Part 1: Size Doesn’t Matter
Well the Karmic Koala finally climbed down from its eucalyptus tree last week, and the general result was feverish excitement across the Linux blogs.Well nigh upon 700 comments had been made on Slashdot within 24 or so hours, on top of some 1,400 Diggs and 300 comments over on Digg.com."New version of Ubuntu to play with! Yeah!!" wrote untcodegeek on Digg, for example.Similarly: "This makes me happy. Ubuntu FTW!" agreed DiggerLater.And, inevitably: "This truly will be the year of the linux desktop!" chimed in dirtyhipster.Reviews of the new release seem highly favorable, on the whole, as does the download process via release mirrors and torrents.Got yours already? Then check out blogger Danny Piccirillo's suggestions for what to do next.New to Linux? Might want to look through some of these nifty cheat sheets as well...Though the Koala was released Thursday, the anticipation has been building for weeks, as one might expect.ZDNet UK blogger J.A. Watson, for example, was inspired to post … [Read more...] about LINUX BLOG SAFARI Can the Karmic Koala Take on Win 7?
At least 145 million Americans -- half the population of the United States -- were impacted by the recent data breach at Equifax that netted thieves personal information such as names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security Numbers and driver's license numbers.That pales in comparison to the earlier Yahoo breaches, which affected more than 1 billion accounts.However, those incidents may be just the tip of a very large iceberg, as reports of data breaches just keep on coming. "Consumer confidence is at an all-time low," said Paige Schaffer, COO of the identity and digital protection services global unit atGenerali Global Assistance."We did a survey with ORC International that found 40 percent of consumers believe businesses aren't doing all they can to protect their personal information," she told the E-Commerce Times. "Further, three in four holiday shoppers say they're either very concerned or somewhat concerned about their financial or personal information being compromised due to a … [Read more...] about 5 Ways Etailers Can Make Online Shoppers Feel Safe