With credit card merchant account compromises becoming more common and card manufacturers scrambling to implement new technology, there are a number of things you should keep in mind when making transactions that can help to protect your accounts from fraud and theft.
Watch Your Accounts Closely
While it may seem obvious, keeping a hawk eye on your credit card merchant accounts is the first step in avoiding victimization. Many people skim over their statements, ignoring small charges for only a few dollars. However, these small charges are often the very ones that are fraudulent. If you notice these kinds of charges, immediately contact your bank. You have 60 days to challenge charges that you did not authorize and many accounts now offer zero liability, meaning that you don’t get hit with a penny if you successfully challenge the charge.
Don’t Save Your Account Info
When you shop with an online merchant, don’t let them store your credit card information on their servers. The more places that have your information, the more chance there is of you getting it hacked. It may be inconvenient for you to type in your information every time, but that lack of convenience means better security for your cards.
Watch for Reputable Sites
Try only to use sites that you know to be reputable. If you can, check seller ratings for the vendor, and make sure that when you are shopping, they use a secured connection that begins with “https://” which means that any use of the site is encrypted and secured against hacking. The secured hyptertext protocol is not foolproof, but it is a good sign that you are using a reputable and protected site.
Always make sure that your computer is up to date with the latest critical security patches. You can set your computer to automatically download and install these, and this is recommended.
Keeping a few standard things in mind, and making a few adjustments can go a long way in protecting your credit card security.