A smart card is a plastic card similar to a credit or debit card except that it contains a microprocessor that can store and process information. Smart cards are considered to be more secure and adaptable than credit cards that use magnetic stripes to encode data.
The main reason that magnetic stripe credit cards are less secure than smart cards is because the data in the magnetic stripe is easily duplicated. Criminals are finding it quite easy with the help of special equipment to read, copy and change the data that is contained in the magnetic stripes. The equipment needed to do this is inexpensive and easy to operate which is why identity theft and credit card fraud is becoming so widespread.
Smart cards on the other hand are much more secure. They are often used in government departments like the US Department of Defence as access cards for secure areas and for logging in and out of computer networks. Smart cards have superior security because they require a special reader to access the data contained in the card’s microprocessor, and the cards can only be accessed by authorized users. It makes credit card fraud a lot more difficult to accomplish.
Smart cards are becoming more popular because people can use them to make purchases on the Internet from online merchants. Many people are afraid to type in their traditional credit card information trb system online because they don’t know whether the sites are encrypted or not and worry about the security factor. Smart cards will make Internet purchases a lot more secure. The customer will use a smart card reader hooked up to the computer, and then be able to make secure purchases without having to key any card data into the website’s online forms. The information cannot be read without a password and this reduces credit card fraud significantly.
Is the smart card 100% secure? No, in fact some University of Cambridge researchers recently found an inexpensive way to extract the information contained in some popular types of smart card. Nevertheless the smart card still offers a much more secure way to make card purchases than the present methods.