Recent research suggests that credit card data is the most sought after data in a breach. Why is that? Maybe it is because once hackers have credit card information, they are given instant access to funds and can easily make quick purchases before you even know the information has been compromised.
Many people fail to successfully protect their financial information. We are in a day and age where online shopping is a part of our every day life. We have numerous memberships and subscriptions tied to our credit cards. Consider your gym membership, Netflix account, or even bills set up on autopay. We live in a world of convenience and because of that we may pay a price. This is all one data breach away from your financial information being compromised.
One best practice we can immediately recommend is to use credit cards more than debit cards. this includes all electronic transactions. This is a small “best practice” mainly because you are not as liable for fraudulent purchases, have longer to dispute false charges, and the fight to get your money back is less of a challenge.
Vet online sites before a purchase
Before you store your information on an online shop, vet the site out. Check the about us page, review the bottom of the website to see who owns the site, check customer reviews, and maybe even plug the business name into Google to see if it is legitimate. True online merchants should have safeguards in place to help prevent a breach. If you are entering your payment information into a non secure site, you are at risk of having your credit card information compromised.
If the deal looks too good to be true, it may be a bogus site. Just keep your eye out, and do your research.
Shop on sites you trust and know well
Well known brands and larger companies are usually a safer bet than a random small shop that is collecting your credit card information. A trustworthy site will be secure and encrypted (SSL) and is usually a large, well known company that has the infrastructure to protect your data.
Consider self-destructing credit card
A self destructing credit card is a virtual credit card built to protect you as the consumer. A virtual number fills the online payment form automatically. If a hacker gains access to the virtual credit card, it is useless to them – the card will no longer work.
For ongoing purchases and subscription services, you can create a virtual credit card thats exclusively for subscription based services. You can set limits and expiration dates on your own, and shut down the card at any point. This helps limit your potential for credit card fraud to basically nothing.
There are, however, a few drawbacks to virtual credit cards. For example, returns can be more complicated since you won’t have a card for any returned money to go back to.
Your bank account is still online, so virtual credit cards don’t completely protect you. A hacker will just have to hack the virtual credit card source to steal your information.
Using your best judgement and doing your research are vitally important in proactively preventing credit card fraud.