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Good Idea/Bad Idea: USB Card Swiper For Online Shopping

Online shopping just got a whole lot easier — or more dangerous, depending on your shopping self-control (personally, I identify a little too well with a certain fictional character).

The SmartSwipe USB Card Reader ($87) plugs into your computer's USB port, and from there, when you want to check out at an online store, you swipe your card, just like you'd do at a department store counter.

SmartSwipe's main selling point is in its security — but the fact that you don't have to key in your credit card number makes an online impulse purchase way too easy. I want this — but think it's a bad idea for me.

What about you — is the SmartSwipe Card Reader a good idea or a bad idea for you?

Join The Conversation
LonelyShifter LonelyShifter 8 years
To KMattes: The WoW authenticator is what your husband is probably talking about. It isn't a "swiper", but instead generates a random number that you have to give when you try to log in or change your account. The number refreshes every 30 seconds or so, and is linked to your account. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible for a remote hacker to get into your account. I'm iffy about the card swiper. Security is good, I guess, but it's very expensive and might make impulse purchases too easy. Not for me one bit.
taylor350 taylor350 8 years
It seems like it could potentially make it a little easier to get your identity stolen. If you have a virus or something couldn't they get the cc info immediately as soon as you swipe it? Maybe I just don't know enough about it, but it sounds a little dangerous!
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 8 years
It's cool but I don't see myself shelling out $87 for it.
bornthisway bornthisway 8 years
it's a good idea for a product, but a bad idea for someone who already has an online shopping problem. (me) and bethinabox has a point.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
It's a good idea for me. I don't make online purchases easily, so impulse control isn't that big of a problem. Also, I only run on a debit card (I would get a credit card, but I just don't see the need for one), so I know that I only have a certain amount $X that I can even spend. I treat all of my money like it's debit - if the money isn't there, I can't buy it. Very simple and easy.
KMattes KMattes 8 years
My husband says they use these on World of Warcraft. The only way you can purchase things is if you have the swiper; that way no one can use your credit card if they hack into your account. Besides, many people who constantly buy things have their cc number memorized anyway. This wouldn't really make it any more dangerous, just easier :)
Lyngay Lyngay 8 years
I think it's a great idea for a business environment, maybe. For an office manager or someone who buys things online every day for work?
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
If you do enough shopping online that you actually feel the need to buy this, then I think you might have a problem... :P
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 8 years
that is a bad idea, at least for me it is. i am addicted to online shopping, my UPS guy even thinks so...
theonlyjess theonlyjess 8 years
Argh, makes it even more easier to buy online... Too tempting ;)
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