Behind-the-Scenes with Visa's Security

Tight-lipped company offers unique look into security of financial information


To make credit cards less of a target, Visa is helping card issuers set up more programs to prevent fraud before it happens, such as allowing card holders to get a password that must be used for online transactions -- preventing fraudsters from using an account even if they have the person's card number and home address.

``Consumers today appear to want to have a more active role in the risk management of their accounts,'' Hilgers said.

Hilgers has the comfort of knowing first-hand that Visa's anti-fraud system is working. Her Visa credit-card information was stolen in August -- Hilgers doesn't know how -- and was used to order a $237 airline ticket. Because the fraudsters wanted the ticket sent to an address other than Hilgers' home, the transaction was blocked.

Hilgers got a new credit card; the fraudsters got nothing.

San Jose Mercury News


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