Buyer Beware: Protecting Your Credit Card Information in the Digital Age

With the convenience and value offered through popular websites, many consumers are turning to the Internet to purchase goods and services. While completing transactions has never been easier for consumers, hackers are continuing to find ways to exploit security holes and obtain sensitive personal information, including credit card numbers, passwords, and bank account information. Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and even the largest firms continue to face challenges in safeguarding customer information.

While the possibility of unauthorized disclosure of personal information may be impossible to eliminate, here are a few simple steps you can take to better protect your credit card information:

  • Frequently monitor credit card charges online and notify your card issuer of any questionable activity.
  • When possible, consider making online payments through a site like PayPal to avoid the direct dissemination of sensitive personal information to an online merchant. The fewer companies that have your credit card information on file, the better.
  • Keep a close watch on your credit card during physical transactions to help guard against unauthorized usage. With the rise of smartphones, it is easier than ever for thieves to quickly obtain “snapshots” of personal information and to then execute fraudulent purchases.
  • When signing a receipt, make sure that the total is stated accurately. Never sign a blank credit card receipt.
  • Consider storing credit cards in a protective card sleeve to guard against card skimming devices.
  • Avoid transmitting credit card information online through public wireless internet (“Wi-Fi”) connections.
  • Avoid disclosing credit card information over the phone.

Above all, if you have any reason to believe that a website requesting personal information is not authentic, or is in some way untrustworthy, discontinue the transaction and explore alternative ways to obtain the product or service. In some instances, at least, your best bet may be to use cold, hard cash.

Feel free to contact Wright Beamer today if you need legal assistance.

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