CEO Says Best Way for E-Commerce Companies to Protect Clients` Credit Card Numbers is to

28th Dec 2000

The best way for Web sites to Protect their customers` credit card numbers against hackers is to never keep the numbers in their databases, says Paul Verhoeff, the Chief Executive Officer of
, Canada`s most widely recognized home-grown online travel booking company.
“If more e-commerce companies followed`s lead and did not keep their customers` credit card numbers on file, they could avoid the turmoil that last week`s hacker attack on has created for millions of its clients,” Mr, Verhoeff said Wednesday.
Mr. Verhoeff said when was still in its early development stages, its management team decided that in addition to acquiring state-of-the-art anti-hacker software, they would also adopt a policy of retaining clients` credit card information for only the few seconds it takes to execute a booking.
“We believe has some of the most sophisticated security systems in the world,” he said. “But because no system can be guaranteed fool-proof, we consider it essential to take the further step of not retaining customers` credit card numbers. We urge other e-tailers - including our travel industry competitors - to adopt a similar policy for maximum protection of the travelling consumer.”
has hired security consultants to discover how a hacker cracked the California-based electronics retailer`s Web site last week and apparently gained access to as many as 3.6 million credit card numbers in what is being called one of the worst security breaches in the history of the Internet. allowed customers to leave their credit card numbers on the site so they didn`t have to type them in again after making their initial purchases.
“Having to type in their credit card numbers each time they buy something online is a minor inconvenience for consumers, but one that is well worth it to guard against hackers,” Mr. Verhoeff said.
Customers using either Mastercard or Visa are not responsible for fraudulent purchases made on their cards because both companies initiated a “zero liability” policy this year to help encourage more credit card purchases on the Internet.


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