It seems like recently there have been more and more credit card breaches being talked about on the news. When these data breaches happen they release the credit card information of thousands if not millions of consumers. As a consumer you should not rely on retailers to take care of the issues you should take steps to limit the impact that these breaches have on you personally.
Use A Debit Card Not A Credit Card
When you are shopping it is recommended that you use a debit card rather than a credit card. The reason behind this is because someone who gets your debit card number cannot do anything with it unless they have your PIN. You even have the option of using your debit card as a credit card where you have to sign for your purchase and not use your PIN. This will keep you and your credit information safe from hackers.
Do Not Fall For Credit Monitoring Offers
Every time there is a new data breach announced you will see that this is the perfect time for a new scammer. There are many people who will create free or low cost credit monitoring services. This is probably a scam where they are trying to get you to release your credit card information to them in promise for them to monitor your account and look for fraud. You should delete all of these emails and just get credit reports from the credit reporting bureaus. These are free to you once per year.
Review Your Credit Card Statements
When you receive your credit card statements every month you should review them carefully. You should be sure that you recognize all of the charges that are on your card. If you see something that does not look right you should contact the credit card company as soon as possible. Many credit card companies also have the option of setting alerts on your card, which will contact you when your credit card has been used. This will also give you the option of contacting the company as soon as you receive an alert if you did not use your card.
Request A New Credit Card
As soon as you learn that a retailer that you have shopped at has had its data breached the first thing you should do is to contact your credit card issuer. They will cancel your current card and issue you a new card with a new credit card number assigned to it. By doing this simple step you will no longer have the credit card that the hacker of the information now has. You should be protected by this step.
Find Alternative Ways To Pay
When you are out shopping with retailers you will find that there are many different ways to pay for the services or goods they offer. The best way to pay where there can be do chance of fraud is by cash but it you do not want to pay cash there are other methods as well. Examples of these are PayPal and Google Wallet. These types of methods offer other types of protection and will do anything they can to keep their customers safe from fraud.
The chances of data breaches are only going to increase as the art of technology increases. It is completely up to you to keep yourself and your information safe from these dishonest people. By following the tips above and paying cash when you can you are likely to find yourself safe from the people who are hacking the system in order to use your credit card information illegally.
Image credits to : Simon Cunningham