Sunday, 17 April 2005

Discover1I was making an online payment on my Discover Card account today when I noticed they are offering a computer program called Discover Deskshop that not only fills out web forms for you when you are making online purchases, it also has an option to use a unique one-time card number instead of your actual Discover Card account number. That means if you use their application, you never have to send your real card account information to online vendors. Instead you send a pretend card number assigned at the time of purchase by Discover, and that information can only be used for that one purchase.

I buy things online frequently. I'm a computer security guy by trade, so I am extra careful about how I do Internet purchases. I have one thing to say about Discover's Deskshop software:


There's also a web-based version that one can use from any web browser. It won't fill out purchase forms for you automatically, but does allow you to use one-time card numbers for purchases you make.

I installed it and used it for the first time today as I purchased a copy of HotRecorder (software that lets you record Skype conversations without the typical hassle). It worked great, but did not set the expiration date for me - I had to do that myself. Every other field it nailed right on.

Discover2I like this - it's a real step up in security, with the one-time card number and associated info. Discover's auto-complete software and one-time card number feature will mean I will be using that card more frequently for purchases, which mean it's good news for Discover and for the customer. Good deal.

I've scribbled out a few things in the image at right to protect myself, but you can get an idea of what the program looks like and how it works. It's all automagical. I have to log onto my Discover Online account in the program interface before I can use the program to make purchases (so moms and dads can rest assured Junior won't be able to make any sneaky purchases).

All I did was tell the program to fill out the form and it did the rest. I set the expiration date and executed the purchase.

Nice. No more taking the card out of my wallet and squinting my getting-older eyes to read the account info and type it in. No more fat-finger mistakes. And better security on top of it all.

Thanks, Discover - you just made me a much happier customer.


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IT Security | Tech
Sunday, 17 April 2005 16:26:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Sunday, 17 April 2005 18:49:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
MBNA have been doing that for a while too. nice idea although if I recall you have to go to their website to generate a card number. the idea of a generator on the desktop is a great improvement..
Sunday, 17 April 2005 19:38:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Yeah, I seriously dig the one-time number generation. With MBNA you can create a "fake card" with an arbitrary limit, and whatever expiration date you want (must be at least 2 months out though). This is THE ONLY WAY I felt secure purchasing "credits" from the russian MP3 site

Unfortunately the songs I wanted were not on Rhapsody, which would usually mean I would just download them illegally until they did come out on Rhapsody...but I could not locate the songs anywhere...but on the "grey legal" russian site.
Sunday, 17 April 2005 23:18:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Yes, having the program on your desktop is pretty darn cool. It also recognizes web forms that are for purchase/billing and pops up when it sees one, and asks you if you want to fill it out - so you don't even have to start it up yourself.
Thursday, 26 October 2006 11:43:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I found this useful so I clicked on some ads.
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