Consumers Demand Change

by Pat McInally, DSS Director of Sports and Entertainment
949-466-2460

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Counterfeit products in the sports industry are at an all time high. In just the last few months news broke about: 2,000 fake FIFA World Cups floating around China (Source), a $21.6 million seizure of fake NFL merchandise (Source), and a bust of online counterfeit baseball cards (Source). Every major sports industry is being effected.

Many fans purchase memorabilia in the hopes that it will someday be worth much more. Unfortunately, counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that hold little to no value.  Honestly in these cases, the only place consumers’ support for the team is going is into the pockets of criminals.

And the consumers are not happy about this. According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of DSS in January of 1,000 smartphone owners,  over nine in ten (92%) smartphone owners agree – 72% strongly so – that they’d be angry if they bought someone a product and it turned out to be counterfeit/fake. Counterfeited brands don’t come away untarnished: over seven in ten (72%) say that if they received a counterfeit or fake item from an online retailer, it would lower their trust in the brand being imitated. 

Where are the majority of these counterfeits being sold? The internet. With auction sites and the never ending realm of the web, it has been nearly impossible for consumers to protect themselves from unknowingly purchasing these knockoff products.

There is hope though – according to the same Harris Poll, nine in ten (90%) smartphone owners say they’d have more confidence purchasing a product online if they could verify that the seller was ‘authorized.’ And DSS’s AuthentiSite offers just that. 

A brand who licenses AuthentiSite can employ the mark to its authorized dealers for use on their websites. This revolutionary authentication technology engages the consumer by allowing him or her to validate reseller websites quickly and warning them if they are on a fake site all through an easy to use smartphone APP- giving consumers peace of mind and further trust in a brand. 

Research Methodology: 
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8th, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call the DSS Corporate Office at 585-325-3610.

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NADDI 2014 Rx Drug Drop Box Grant Program

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NADDI is offering law enforcement an opportunity to receive a free locked box to accept unwanted and expired pharmaceuticals every day of the week in their own law enforcement facility.

Sponsored by Endo and Zogenix Pharmaceuticals, NADDI is now accepting letters authored ands signed by the top law enforcement official on their letterhead, detailing the agency’s need to receive free of charge one of these boxes.

Upon approval, the box will be shipped directly to your law enforcement agency to begin to remove these unwanted and expired medications from your community. To apply for a box, review the information and download the application letter, please visit http://rxdrugdropbox.org/ 

For more information on how brand owners and consumers alike can curb the issue of counterfeit websites and product, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com 

One on One with David Wicker, Inventor Magazine’s Cover Story.

Here at DSS, we are lucky to have David Wicker as our VP of Research and Development. He is responsible for product awareness and the development of solutions for clients’ documents, identification cards and brand packaging needs. As a member of the Wicker Group from 1991-1998, he was involved in licensing and implementation of newly patented print security technology to dozens of forms printers in numerous countries.

David brings over 24 years of experience in the commercial printing industry to his position and has developed trade techniques to provide user-friendly secure technologies, implemented through on-site technical training for sheet and web press operations around the country. 

David sat down to provide us with a little insight on his accomplishments. 

So Dave, tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I grew up in the Rochester area.  I started working in the printing industry while still in high school and also worked for my father as he developed graphic arts products and security printing technology.

What inspired you to take an interest in the security industry?Image
My father, Ralph Wicker, was an inventor in the field of security print technology.  He was named Inventor of the Year by NYS Eastern Patent Law Association in1995, but had been working on developing technologies since the 1970’s.  I guess you could say that security printing is in my blood.

What would you say your biggest accomplishment in the security industry is?
I would say that it is two-fold, the first being the creator of pantograph safety paper that would become the first commercial product for a very early startup company – which later became DSS.

And more recently, being part of the team that evolved DSS’s authentication technologies from modern traditional print into mobile device authentication.

Can you tell us a little about your role with the Document Security Alliance?
As a board and committee member of the Document Security Alliance, my participation allows me to not only take part in roundtable discussions about new counterfeiting techniques and anti-counterfeiting technologies methods, but also allows me to interact with industry and government entities that are dealing with all types of falsification, alteration and duplication of all forms of intrinsic objects.

You are also regularly asked to speak at local colleges, what is that like?
Being able to participate in document forensic seminars at local colleges and government venues is a way for me to share my knowledge with students and professionals about the growing issues in, not only documents, but all types of media. I also speak about how to utilize the available technology solutions to address evolving threats and how the field of anti-counterfeiting is in need of a technologically superior future workforce.

ImageSpeaking of evolving threats, how would you say counterfeiting has evolved over the years?
Counterfeiting started solely as a currency problem early in this country’s history with highly skilled professionals and expensive equipment, evolving into today’s digital threat, which presents greater challenges to brand web properties and packaged goods. As the proliferation of modern desktop publishing devices became available to the counterfeiter, visual duplication of documents and labels is as easy as pushing a button.

This is the reason we have developed our AuthentiGuard smartphone authentication technology as a way to easily tell the difference between a genuine image and a counterfeit, or a genuine website or a fake.

How do you feel companies can best combat the threat?
To start, the best way is to educate themselves about the manufacture of their counterfeited products, the point of entrance into the supply chain and the new technologies available.  By evolving their trusted anti-fraud technologies as the threats increase and not disregarding the older counterfeiting techniques. I think that the use of layered materials technology in combination with mobile authentication via ever-present smartphones will continue to help the brand owner get to the source of counterfeit manufacturing sites and their supply sources.

For more information on how brand owners and consumers alike can curb the issue of counterfeit websites and product, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

The Problem With Website Seal Programs

According to truste.com, 90% of adults are concerned about piracy, and 88% avoid companies that don’t protect their privacy. Because of this, companies participate in website seal programs to prove their validity and, in turn, gain their consumer’s trust and business.

In order to earn these seals, companies typically have to go through several privacy and website infrastructure checks. This process is set up to ensure there are minimal threats to a customer’s personal information. Once the website passes, the website is approved to display the seal’s artwork.

The security problem isn’t in the seal process – its the seal’s artwork. According to our online survey, conducted on our behalf by Harris Poll in January, among 1,000 smartphone users (18+), almost half of smartphone owners (48%) believe that marks such as SSL certificates and a verified symbol are signs that an online retailer is genuine.

However, without an authentication feature built directly into the artwork, anyone with a mouse can drag and drop the trusted images onto their own website – without a doubt, counterfeiters know and actively practice this. 

71% of smartphone users stated that merchant websites are at least somewhat capable of preventing online purchases of counterfeit merchandise. But is displaying an easily duplicated image all they can do? We don’t think so. 

Here at DSS, we have taken a strong stance against phishing and counterfeit websites, which is exactly why we created AuthentiSite. By building a seal with a non-transferable authentication feature, and backing it with cloud-based security look-ups, DSS’s AuthentiSite solution bridges the gap between seal programs and actual website authentication.

For more information on how brand owners and consumers alike can curb the issue of counterfeit websites and product, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

Research methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8th, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call the DSS Corporate Office at 585-325-3610.