Safeguarding personal information, securing credit card through a lock, and monitoring accounts are all important to avoid identity theft and fraud. Identity theft refers to the exploit of someone else’s information without permission. The main purpose is to use the person’s money and other available assets.
Personal Information Protection
According to the US Department of Justice, 1 in 7 Americans, aged 16 and above, became a victim of identity theft in 2014. This number means that there were over 17 million US residents whose personal information have been used by scammers.
If you’re currently using credit card to process payments, online and offline, chances are you’ll become a victim of identity theft. Therefore it’s important to be smart in practicing preventative measures to avoid bad actors from making financial gains through your credit card information.
The following are helpful tips to keep your personal information safe from hackers, scammers, and cyber criminals:
- Freeze your credit card. Freezing your credit card is an excellent way in limiting other people from using your credit details. However, you need to pay a small amount in order to freeze your account.
- Lock your credit. Locking your credit offers another way to protect yourself from identity theft. All you need is an app which will allow you to lock your credit using your smartphone.
- Use a stronger password. When creating a password on your financial accounts, make sure to combine numbers, special characters, and letters. This will make it difficult for hackers and other cyber criminals to access your account online. Also, use different passwords on your accounts to protect all the others if someone hacked one account.
- Limit the details you share online. Avoid setting your profiles in public mode so only your trusted friends can see your information on social media. The most crucial information are your birthday, full name, and credit card account numbers.
- Be wary of your mail. One easy way for hackers to steal your identity is through a stolen mail. If you’re leaving your hometown, make sure to lock your mail. There’s a lockable mailbox approved by the US Postal Service to secure your mails while away from your home.
- Practice using a shredder. Always shred bank statements, credit card histories, and junk mails to avoid malicious actors from using your personal information. Make the shredder your best friend when it comes to disposing of these important papers.
How Can Businesses Protect Customer’s Credit Card Information
As a business, it’s extremely important how you handle and keep your customers’ personal information specifically involving sensitive ones such as credit card information. Losing such information to cybercriminals could result to stealing money and using your customer credit card information in fraud. Being involved in credit card fraud can be a big threat in damaging your business.
Here are some tips on how to protect your customer’s credit card information:
- For e-commerce businesses, it’s important to have a secure network firewall. The network firewall primary role is to secure a computer network from unauthorized access. Having a secure network firewall could prevent unwanted visitors from accessing credit card information.
- Use credit card encryption to protect personal information. Encryption involves tokenization which means protecting sensitive data by replacing it with unique identification symbols. Using encryption in every credit card transaction protects personal information from being accessed by thieves and hackers.
- PCI or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Compliance. Businesses must comply to all the policies and procedures on how to protect credit, debit, and cash card information and transactions and prevent the misuse of cardholders’ personal information. One way of complying to PCI DSS is the sufficient knowledge about it. Businesses can invest in pci compliance training online to obtain adequate knowledge about PCI DSS.
We must always be vigilant about securing our personal information. Individuals and businesses must communicate and help each other to prevent stealing personal information and prevent identity theft. With how technology advances day by day, even every minute, businesses and individuals must keep themselves updated and at least be one step ahead from cybercriminals.