At the moment, it can be quite difficult to eliminate the security vulnerabilities associated with debit or credit cards. This is probably due to the technology that is currently available that leaves our cards vulnerable. However, there are still some measures that could be adopted to minimize risks.
Online security experts are getting wary of the level of online crimes making reference to the Target data breach by a Russian teen. A 17-year old Russian teen had written a malware used to hack into Target’s credit card system, according to investigations. And experts say there are high tendencies that security breach like this is quite inevitable.
“There’s already a lot of breaches related to the Target (A retail shop where data breach occurred) breach that isn’t being disclosed,” Gartner analyst Avivah Litan told NPR, saying there’s roughly an 80 percent chance another big data breach like the Target mess will occur in the future.
It’s better to use credit cards
Using the debit card in quite becoming indispensable, nobody is carrying cash, and only a few persons are using the credit card. When you are using the credit card instead of debit card, you have a lot of advantages, especially on issues that are related to online fraud or hacking.
“You don’t have the same protection you’ve got with a credit card, and your bank account is at risk,” says Scott Dueweke, Senior Associate, Virtual Identity and Anonymous Payments Division, Booz Allen Hamilton.
Protect cards like cash
Just like you protect your money, you should be protecting your cards like that. Never your card, either credit or debit them out of your possession or control. Don’t leave your credit cards in your car’s glove compartment.
A high percentage of credit card thefts are from car glove compartments. Don’t lend your cards to anyone. You are responsible for their use.
Choose to sign instead of putting your PIN
It could be tough to detect or suspect when a banking officer asks you to drop your pin during a transaction. It happens sometimes; you give out your PIN without even realizing the implications.
“Visa and MasterCard also offer zero liability coverage for signature transactions,” says Al Pascual, Senior Analyst of Security, Risk, and Fraud.
“Merchants would prefer that you use your PIN because it’s cheaper for them, which is why most payment terminals are set up with a PIN prompt as a default. But it’s riskier because it gives data thieves the option of creating a fake debit card and hitting the ATM to take out your money”, he said.
Have a secure password
You see passwords like “123456”; this is not a password. You should have a combination of small letters, capital letters, numbers and marks in your password. That makes it super high and difficult to hack.
Some people use their names as their password or even house address; these practices are prone to risks and vulnerabilities that would cost you so much.
“These database breaches often include online username and passwords, and if you are one of the 55% of all consumers who use the same username and password for all of your online relationships. Then, a data breach at a retailer can also result in the bad guys getting access to your online banking accounts,” says Julie Conroy, Research Director at the Aite Group.
Report to your bank when you lose your card
When you lose your card, don’t keep quiet, report to your bank. Let them know that your card has been lost. Contacting your bank gives you the room to avert any fraud, your PIN would be blocked immediately, and that prevents anybody from hacking into your details.