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Is it safe?

A crowded train full of families on their way up to London might not, at first blush, be the natural place to think about security. But in many ways it's perfect.
Written by Manek Dubash, Contributor on

A crowded train full of families on their way up to London might not, at first blush, be the natural place to think about security. But in many ways it's perfect.

When a fellow passenger seated across the table from me started reading out credit card details -- complete with start and expiry dates, the security code from the back of the card and her date of birth, I couldn't help a surprised glance.

'Is there a problem?', I was politely asked. I responded that I was surprised to hear someone read out the details that anyone else would need to access their account, all within earshot of at least 20 other people.

She admitted she'd had second thoughts when asked for the details but decided to go ahead anyway. In the end, as she'd been interrupted, she told the other party to the call that she'd call back when she had more privacy, or text the information.

If there was ever evidence that convenience wins over security, here it is. We all know it.

The industry has a long way to go -- and the least callers from financial organisations should do in such circumstances is, when they hear a crowded background where there could be listeners, to ask the question: 'Is it safe?'.

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