Chapter 5

E-commerce Security and Payment Systems

Learning Objectives | Projects and Exercises

Projects and Exercises

Project 1: Is This Safe?

Visit Amazon, eBay, and Twitter and find and read the pages on each site that discuss security. Then, prepare a short report in which you discuss the security features and policies of these websites. How difficult were the pages to find? How do they attempt to keep your personal information from being stolen? What aspects of the policies do or do not give you confidence as a consumer? What makes you wary of giving personal information such as a credit card number to an online store or service?

Project 2: Dangerous Software

The section on poorly designed server and client software on pages 316-318 of the text highlights the impact that such software has on security. The U.S. government's National Vulnerability Database compiles comprehensive data on software vulnerabilities it identifies. Use the Vulnerability Search Engine to search for software flaws from five vendors (such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, or another firm) during the last three months, Using this data, create a column chart using Excel or another program to illustrate the trends in software vulnerabilities identified during that time. What conclusions can you draw from this data?

Project 3: E-commerce Payment Systems

Choose a retail category (such as apparel, software, books, etc.) and visit at least five companies in that category. Prepare a table summarizing the different payment methods offered by the companies you visited.

Project 4: Using Credit Cards Online

Ellen Longbow is the chief financial officer (CFO) at a startup e-commerce firm that sells products popular with college students. She has asked you to do some Internet research on three competing companies that permit credit-card purchases at their e-commerce sites. Create a table (or spreadsheet) that summarizes how each site handles the following issues: (a) What information does each site require before permitting you to use a credit card? (b) What steps must you go through to complete a transaction? (c) What features do they incorporate to facilitate overcoming the limits of security, merchant risk, cost, etc.? (d) How do they authenticate cardholder identities?