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CheckFree Security Checks

Recently the CheckFree electronic banking service has become available on the Mac after being available on the PC for some time. Based on reports from subscribers also on Usenet, CheckFree might be an expensive proposition. People are complaining about the security level offered by CheckFree. Evidently each user is assigned a four digit account password by the company that the user cannot change and which the customer is informed of by normal mail. With only 10,000 passwords to choose from, it would be relatively easy for a criminal to break into an account (the criminal would also need the person's address and social security number). Users of CheckFree have unlimited liability should anyone break into their accounts.

CheckFree's software doubles as a checkbook manager and has received favorable, if brief reviews from Usenet. It evidently uses the Macintosh interface well and allows the user to assign IRS form and line numbers to certain expenses. That information can be exported to MacInTax at the end of the year. Currently, the electronic funds transfer (EFT) part of the software (on one end or another, it wasn't quite clear) is broken and will be fixed soon after you read this. Considering the security problems with CheckFree, though, not being able to use EFT may be a feature, not a bug.

Information from:
Dave Yost -- yost@esquire.UUCP
Dan Dlugose -- dlugose@uncecs.edu
Walter Bays -- walter@garth.UUCP
B. S. Oplinger -- oplinger@minerva.crd.ge.com