Welcome Back! My last BLOG post covered some of the key prevention practices to adhere to from becoming a victim of wire fraud in a real estate transaction. Today’s post offers yet another way to “Stay Secure” in the “Online World” in which we live.
We’ve all been tempted – The convenience of saving your credit card information on your favorite sites is very appealing. No more scrambling for your card, no more entering all that information, especially when it comes to purchases made on your mobile devices.
Due to the increasing occurrences of data theft, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) encourages online consumers to consider the risks involved in storing or saving their credit card information with online merchants.
This is an important consideration due to the growing number and variety of data breaches over the past several years. The theft of personal information from medical insurance companies, restaurants and retailers has justifiably made consumers cautious about HOW their personal information is handled.
The BBB offers the following suggestions for protecting your personal financial information online:
- You can just say NO – In most cases, merchants will ask if you’d like them to keep your credit card info on file. You have the right to say NO. If an online merchant isn’t clear about their policy, just ask about it.
- Remove your credit card information – Some online merchants automatically store your credit card info even without asking your permission. Therefore, after you’ve made a purchase, log into your account and find the option to REMOVE your payment information from a company’s files.
- Be vigilant when you’re out and about – It is best to refrain from making any transactions over a public Wi-Fi network that does not require any password. Hackers can easily setup a fake network with a name that would be a similar name to the location’s free Wi-Fi network name. If you connect to a fake network, your information is at risk of being hacked. As a precaution, you might want to verify the exact name of the location’s Wi-Fi network BEFORE connecting.
- Use credit, not debit. Whether you use a debit card or credit card, you are protected from liability due to fraud. Debit cards, however, allow cybercriminals to EMPTY OUT your bank accounts after they have breached your personal information.
- Keep a watchful eye on your credit and bank statements. Be aware of any unusual or unauthorized charges on your accounts by scanning them on a regular basis. If ANYTHING looks suspicious, call your financial institution right away.
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Be sure to check out our next BLOG POST on March 22nd.
Until then… it’s all about YOU!