James Miller - On-Line Security

One of the biggest problems of the Internet is the amount of fraudulent E-Mails, that are sent to try to get you disclose your bank account details.

I was thinking about this and what is needed is a 'Reverse Password' or 'Identification Phrase'.

  1. This is a phrase or word that you can enter into your profile in PayPal or your on-line Bank Account. (I don't have one of the latter, they are insecure!)

  2. You can change it as required, daily or weekly if you want!

  3. In every E-Mail that PayPal sends you, then they must include this phrase!

  4. So if it's fraud or spam, then you will have a much better idea.

  5. You could also add a 'Communication Number' to each transaction and E-Mail, so that the client would know if any communications had gone missing.

These won't replace the other checks you should do but they would certainly make it more difficult for the fraudsters.

Has anybody ever seen anything like this before? I can't believe that something so simple hasn't been tried!

James Miller
September 2004

Update - February 2005

The UK government has just started a virus alert bulletin at ITSafe. It uses what it calls an 'ITSafe word' for security. Good for them.