Major retailers are having an increasingly difficult time protecting the security of their customer’s financial information in these hack crazy times. Last December, Target was hit with malware that compromised 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts. Recently, Home Depot was hit with the same malware. What’s a connoisseur of mass-produced boxed goods to do?
Unfortunately hacks like these aren’t limited to major box stores. Any business that relies on credit and debit cards is at risk of computer viruses like the malware that attacked Target and Home Depot. As a consumer, you entrust your financial information to dozens of retailers of all shapes and sizes. You can’t afford to have your personal or your company’s financial information compromised because you unknowingly purchased something from the wrong retailer.
Checking out at a cash register shouldn’t be a security crap-shoot when you swipe your credit card. Here are three shopping tips to help you minimize the risk of having your financial information compromised.
Use Preloaded Cards
Shopping with a prepaid credit card keeps your personal financial information out of the system. If the gift card information is compromised, then, in a worst-case scenario, only the money loaded on the card would be lost. If this happens, you may be able to have the gift card company reimburse you for the loss. As a bonus, the theft of a gift card won’t penalize your credit score like the theft of your personal credit card would. You can also use prepaid cards to safely make online purchases.
Don’t Do Debit
Security experts recommend keeping debit purchases to a minimum. Debit cards work by drawing money directly from your bank account. This can spell big trouble for your bank balance if your debit card number is stolen. Credit cards are better suited for resolving the mess created by card theft. You can report the fraudulent charges to your credit card company and not be charged for them. WIRED magazine suggests that you only use your debit cards at secure ATMs, and nowhere else, you have a lot more to lose with a debit card than with a credit card.
Use Best Security Practices for Online Purchases
Before you go on your next online shopping spree, be sure to learn about the traps hackers like to use in order to steal a user’s financial information. Phishing emails that pretend to represent a well-known company are a favorite trap used by hackers. In a phishing email, they will link a bogus website skillfully designed to trick you into making a purchase. Be on the lookout for these websites and be sure to only visit official company websites.
Checking the URL of the website is an easy way avoids falling into this trap. Be sure to look at the website’s security certificate before making a purchase. Do this by looking for a padlock icon to the left of the URL. A closed padlock means that the website is encrypted and the information sent with the form should be safe.
In order to prevent a breach that would affect your business you must take every security precaution and preventive measure available to protect your information. This would include the implementation of network monitoring program from Quikteks. We will install an enterprise-level firewall to go along with our Unified Threat Management solution. Call us today at (973) 882-4644 to prevent your business from making headlines as the next Target or Home Depot.
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