There is no end to the schemes credit card thieves come up with, especially now that technology can used to help them achieves their goals. Therefore, if you don’t want to be kept on hold while the bank blocks your card and the thief spends your hard earned money, you need to work harder on preventing your credit card data from being stolen.
So, without further ado, here are some of the techniques credit card thieves use and how you can protect yourself from them.
5 Methods for Stealing Credit Card Data
In order to prevent your credit card details from falling in the wrong hands, you need to know the techniques commonly used by thieves, which include the following five.
1. Packet Sniffer – Packet sniffers are the quickest way to get any data. They target e-commerce websites and create logs of transactions and their details. Though most websites are taking preventative measures in the form of security encryption, the web still hosts numerous websites that don’t have good security.
2. Malware – Another old school yet popular way of stealing credit card data is using malware. Worms, Trojans and spyware can infect victims through e-mail attachments, IMs or malicious links which conceal downloadable files. Once installed, the malware will create logs of your activities and send them back to the thief or hacker.
3. Phishing Websites – Phishing websites are those which replicate the layout of a website and copy its address on another domain to trick people into divulging their sensitive data. If such a website copies your bank or favorite e-commerce website’s layout, its creator can easily trick you into inputting your credit card number.
4.Hacking – Though difficult, expert thieves armed with the right knowledge can easily hack into e-commerce websites and steal customer data. These thieves create scripts which run on the servers hosting the websites and ultimately weaken firewalls.
5.Apps – Credit card data thieves have become smarter now that smartphones are easier to buy. By developing special apps, they can steal information easily from their victims. One such app works with NFC (near field communication) to steal credit card data by waving the phone running it near the victim’s wallet or pocket. This method has huge potential since it doesn’t leave any evidence behind making tracking the thief very hard.
How to Protect Your Credit Card Data
Reversing the effects of these problems can be hard, but preventing them is quite easy. All you need to do is remember and use the following tips.
- If you don’t shop online very often or prefer using credit cards regularly, you can take advantage of temporary credit card numbers. Some banks such as the Bank of America and Discover offer temporary cards which you can use and then discard of later.
- Sign up for mobile alerts so that you can receive text messages whenever your credit card is used. This will help you catch any unusual transactions quickly. You may also want to regularly check on your account from time to time to catch unusual activities.
- Only use one computer to access your bank account or shop online. Though using your smartphone may be easier, hacking it or stealing it is just as simple. In addition, using different computers may compromise your data since friends and family members will also be using them.
- You should only shop from a reliable online vendor, such as eBay and Amazon. You can also check out other merchants’ websites, but make sure that their security measures are excellent.
- Don’t click e-mail links even if they’re from your bank or credit card company. These are likely phishing links sent by spammers to reel in your information. Instead, contact the financial institution via phone and provide the information required to someone you know.
- Never save your login information on your computer. Also, make sure to log off whenever you’re done before clearing your browser’s cache. This important step is a great way to protect your privacy and credit card information.
- Find out what your credit card provider is doing against NFC data skimming. Some of the common steps taken these days include providing different security codes for each transaction, transmitting minimal data or limiting transmission range, and associating codes different from the card’s number with transactions.
With these tips, your risk of being a victim of credit card theft will decrease. So, keep them in mind and incorporate them in your daily life.
This post was contributed by Dmitri Blackthorn – online security expert @ Stop-DDoS.net, a well-know ddos mitigation service provider. Dmitri loves to share simple and practical security tips to help the Web community.