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Data theft protection to be discussed at Boston conference

Tackling credit card theft is the prime topic to be discussed at an upcoming conference in Boston.

Hosted by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the Mar. 5 conference will examine data theft protection among tradeshow and convention attendees.

This comes on the heels of a high profile credit card breach affecting some 300 people attending events in 2013 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in which victims included customers at restaurants inside the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (connected to the convention center).

The free event, targeted at hotels, restaurants and retail outlets near the authority’s venues, will include participants from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Boston Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service and experts from the payment card industry.

Todd Plesco, information security analyst, Infosecurity.pro, told Exhibit City News that the point-of-sale and payment card industries are waking up to these kinds of data breaches and insist that stiff penalties should now be imposed. He added that having point of sale handheld devices at a customer’s restaurant table would eliminate the problem of having one’s card out of their possession at any one time.

“The crimes we’ve been seeing committed with credit card theft in the cases like those in the Boston Convention Center commercial areas are physical access attributed where the credit card is away from one’s line of sight,” said Plesco.

Plesco urged convention goers to use a debit card account with a low balance for gas, restaurant and entertainment purposes in lieu of one that plugs into the bulk of someone’s savings or large sums of checking account funds.

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