With the hacking of PSN being resolved with all due haste and as quickly as possible, it forces us to rethink the strategy used to purchase games online, and credit cards in general.
Right now, paypal or a credit card are the prime ways to purchase games online, and not everyone accepts paypal. As I have stated time and time again, the difficulty of executing identity theft and credit is nothing short of laughable. My stepdad is wary about using his credit card, and rightly so. He is a cautious man with his money, tracks every penny, and he will chase you down to make sure credit card info is scrubbed from your database.
A significant amount of games are PSN exclusive, forcing people to download the games from the database, meaning they’ll likely have to hand over their credit card number to get a hold of games. Even though digital distribution of products is an amazing idea, cuts down on the middleman, eliminates stock issues completely, and lets everybody with an internet connection (most of the civilized world) get what they want from the comfort of their homes, a security issue like this is quite literally a goldmine in its value.
Even though many services allow us to walk into most stores and pick up cards that put money into our accounts with cash, this has two major downsides. Firstly, these cards aren’t available everywhere nor are they on every service, and second, if the algorithm for the cards gets cracked or someone makes an incredibly lucky guess, that $20 card you just bought might be completely useless.
There truly is no way to guarentee it, but how companies handle our credit card data needs to change. Things like not storing the data longer than needed, and allowing us to have it permenently and irrevocably removed with one click. Encrypting the data simply is not enough now. When credit card fraud happens, the fault goes up from the one who leaked the number to the provider itself. If this scandal results in far stronger security measures, I’ll welcome it.