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Credit Card Security Loopholes: Protect Yourself Against Online Credit Card Fraud

Published 13/03/2018 in Internet Security - 0 Comments
Credit card security loopholes

Credit card security loopholes are still with us. However the technology continues to evolve, its antagonists seem to be two steps ahead of it, exploiting new vulnerabilities. Online credit card fraud has grown drastically in the last few years. The situation has grown from bad to worse with 46% of Americans falling to the trap of credit card frauds. It goes to show that there are still significant credit card security loopholes that have been left to be exploited.

There are different techniques that normal internet and computer users can use to protect themselves from internet fraud. The first step is to of course always ensure that they have their credit card/debit cards with them. Credit card fraudsters only need credit card information such as the credit card number, its CVV and expiry date to use the card. Ensuring that you always have your credit card with you is the first step to reducing online fraud.

Automatic updates are good to prevent online credit card fraud.

Online credit card fraud

The second step is to put their devices on automatic update. Most users don’t like putting their devices on automatic updates. It is true that it comes with the inconvenience of restarting your computer, whereas you may be in the middle of an important project. However, this is a vital milestone towards preventing internet fraud. Most applications and operating systems have security loopholes that application developers patch with time. As soon as a vulnerability is identified by the application developer or a third party, an update is put forth. This happens in case your application’s developer is truly serious about your security and convenience. If the vulnerability is not patched the user’s device becomes vulnerable to cyber-attacks that can utilize that vulnerability.

For instance, recently HP pushed an update for its keyboard and mouse pad software. The software had a critical security loophole which made the software act like a key logger. This means that it stored all the keys that the user had typed. This vulnerability can be leveraged by hackers to view information that would otherwise not be seen. HP quickly remedied the situation and pushed an update to all their devices.

Now, let’s imagine an HP computer user did not enable automatic update on his/her device. This means that someone with access to the company resources can extract all the keys that he/she has typed. This could include passwords, sensitive financial or trade secrets and critical credit card information! Even if you hide your credit card in the deepest pits, there’s no hiding from some credit card security loopholes! To be safe, and this does not only apply to protecting your credit card information, always update your software.

Ad-blockers and malvertisements.

Another step that users can implement to stop falling for internet fraud is to install ad blockers in their browsers. There is a common type of threat known malvertisement. This type of threat uses normal ads like the ones you see on any web page to deliver malware to your PC or network. In other cases, it redirect users to respected clone sites where they can ask them to input their details. These details can range from bank account details to credit card information. Preventing these advertisements from reaching your web page is a step in the right direction.

Spam and email phishing can exploit serious credit card security loopholes.

Credit card security loopholes

Email phishing is rampant these days and it is the number one method used by credit card fraudsters to dupe their victims. Most of the time they craft an email pretending to be a reputable business your bank or internet service provider. They then ask you to input your credit card details for a certain service they are providing and they attach a URL where you can input your details. Clicking the URL is often the first mistake that normal users make.

If you are not sure of a certain email then refrain from clicking the link attached to the email. This is especially if you did not request for a certain service. The link often leads to a website that is owned by the fraudster. In this site the fraudster can retrieve the details you input and then use it later elsewhere. One way of overcoming this credit card security loophole is ensuring you are browsing to legitimate websites is to bookmark them on your browser. Even if you get a phishing email that is asking you to change or confirm your credit card details, you go to the legitimate bank website and input the details.

If possible always try to make payments through PayPal to reduce credit card security loopholes.

Using payment services like PayPal to make online payments go a long way. PayPal offers protection by keeping your credit card details secret. It offers normal users to some extent a shield from credit card fraudsters who want to know their credit card details. It is often safer to use payment services like PayPal especially online as it reduces the chances of having your information stolen. The key is to of course keep your PayPal password secret. This means confirming you are actually on the legitimate PayPal website before keying in the password.

Pin and password strength is also a critical factor to reduce internet fraud. If for instance a hacker is somehow able to obtain your credit card and wants to use it. Never use a pin that is your birth year or birthday, or from public information. A resourceful person can always look up and find out your pin. This will automatically make your credit card vulnerable to hacking. A pin and password should always be strong and very random to reduce chances of a hacker guessing the credit card pin easily.

Of course there is only so much that normal users can do to reduce their chances of being victim to online fraud. The advancement of credit cards from magnetic stripes to embedded chips has minimized some credit card security loopholes. This is by reducing the ability of credit card fraudsters from accessing the credit card information physically. This means that even if a credit card is stolen it will be harder for them to duplicate the card and use it elsewhere.

Paypal minimises credit card security loopholes

PayPal minimizes credit card security loopholes

Ensure online vendors you do business with uphold the integrity of your data

Most data breaches today often results from vendors and retailers who do not encrypt their customer data properly. There is very little a normal user can do in such instances. The data breach will be as a result of negligence on the side of the retailer or vendor. Ensuring that you browse to encrypted websites with HTTPS instead of HTTP is one way of ensuring the site you are visiting is protecting your data. Rest assured, there are people who are listening in to the connection. Therefore protect yourself by using these websites that ensures any data transferred between your browser and the web server will be encrypted.

One should also reporting that a credit card is stolen or missing. This will also reduce the chances of online credit card fraud by preventing it being used by another person for online purchases. A user should immediately report the incident to their bank. A responsible bank will suspend the card and stop fraudsters from using it for any nefarious activities.

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