The internet is filled with never-ending reports of cyberattacks and breaches showing that your financial, as well as personal details, are not sufficiently safe. This includes your credit cards as well. Take, for example, the well-known data breach that involved Capital One, a credit card company whose personal information of its more than 106 million customers was comprised.
The July 2019 incident clearly shows that data breaches have become commonplace and so it’s important to protect yourself to avoid being the next victim. Hackers are increasingly looking for companies that have your information, and this is what is making it completely hard to protect yourself. All the same, there are several ways that you can protect yourself and minimize the damage in the event cybercriminals manage to hack a company that has your credit card details. Continue reading this article for tips to avoid the risk of credit card hacking online.
Use One Credit Card for All of Your Online Purchases
Shopping has become extremely easy nowadays. Actually, you do it with your mobile devices in the comfort of your home or office. Still, banks are encouraging online shopping by offering special cards for that purpose; however, this might increase your exposure to data breaches when you expose multiple accounts.
One of the most effective ways of minimizing the risk of credit card hacking is to designate just one credit card to online purchases. This makes it easy to check for suspicious charges and transactions. Further, you can use a guest profile when paying for your purchases instead of creating a personal account where you’re required to save your credit card details. Also, you can set up email or text message alerts when you decide to create an account.
Opt for Virtual Account Number
The majority of credit card companies are offering virtual number services to counteract the increased credit card breaches. That means you can get a one-time card number for every purchase transaction that you make online. That way, your actual card information doesn’t appear during the checkout process; but instead, the temporary number linked to your account is what gets your purchase activity. So hackers can’t get your actual credit card details when they compromise the eCommerce website later on.
Purchase from Reputable Ecommerce Sites
There are many online brands competing for your businesses; however, some of them are not genuine and are only created to steal from you. For that reason, don’t transact with unfamiliar retailers no matter how fairly their prices are. Instead, do your research, read reviews online and look at their website design and how they approach you. Avoid websites that look unprofessional or offer unrealistically low prices and instead buy from reputable known eCommerce sites.
Beware of Phishing
While a hacker may manage to get your credit card number, they will not have the 3-4 card verification value (CVV) number and expiration date. To get additional details from you, hackers will try to send you an email or call you.
Therefore, avoid giving your information to anybody not unless you are the one who has directly called the company. Keep track of the company contact number and don’t respond to unsolicited emails or calls. You can actually call the company and confirm whether it’s the source of communication or if the person who called you is legitimate.
Use Random Letters and Numbers on your Passwords
Criminals can successfully crack your password even when you follow the password rules. However, creating a strong password that comprises random numbers and letters as well as changing it frequently can help keep them away. A password that you can easily remember is also probably an easy one for hackers to crack.
Additionally, take advantage of digital security measures like two-factor authentication, which sends you a unique one-time code to your mobile device. This provides a second layer of protection because you must have a mobile device to get the code, and so any unknown sign-in attempt to your account will definitely fail. A credit monitoring service can also help you keep track of activity related to your credit score by sending you near real-time alerts for suspicious activities.
Further, there are other types of authentication, such as Touch ID and Face ID, which are slowly replacing the standard password. You can use them when accessing your financial information or transacting.
Limit the Number of Declined Transactions
Hackers use malicious software scripts to make fraudulent transactions. That means they may try many credit card numbers in succession to see what can go through. However, there is a fee attached to a declined transaction, and the solution to this is to cap the number of times someone can incorrectly key in the credit card figures. So with this setup in place, the credit card company will ban the card when the approved number of attempts is exceeded, and so your account will be safe.
Use Secure Network When Shopping
While the number of cyberattacks is increasing, especially on small businesses website compared to larger corporations, hackers are targeting individuals using public Wi-Fi. However, you can avoid being a victim by ensuring that you shop from secure, reputable websites. Still, cybercriminals are spying on public Wi-Fi networks and so don’t transact using the public internet because they can intercept the data and access your confidential financial information, account passwords, banking credentials, or other details.
The Bottom Line
The article has given you 7 tips to avoid the risk of credit card hacking online, but there is a lot more that you can do not to be a victim. Being proactive is one of them as well as applying these suggestions will lower the risk when shopping online.
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