Credit card fraud costs the U.S. more than $8 billion every year, and the individual consequences are just as severe. When you shop online or make card not present transactions without checking the security of your purchase, you're putting yourself at a greater risk for identity theft and fraud.
Simple tasks can often turn into risky behaviors and you might not even realize it. So if you're looking to improve your security, you may want to avoid these five things.
Failing to Check for Skimmers
While this isn't a card not present situation, it's one of the most dangerous. People can attach skimming devices to the exterior of an ATM that can steal your information as you swipe your card in the terminal and enter your PIN number. Be sure to check for traces of glue, scuff marks, or any other suspicious signs of activity.
Banking in a Cafe
Your favorite coffee shop may be a great place to get some writing done and check the latest headlines, but it's definitely not a place to do your online banking. Such open networks give hackers easier access to your personal information, so save your banking for the dining room table.
Responding to Phishing Messages
In 12% of cases involving credit card fraud, a website is the initial point of contact. Whether you're shopping or browsing Facebook, if you receive an unsolicited message from someone you've never met before, leave it alone and report the account. Responding to these messages may be tempting, but it may also give the account access to your private and financial information.
Ignoring Credit Responsibilities
If you suspect a card not present transaction was fraudulent or that your card was stolen, you have a responsibility to alert your bank or provider. If you fail to keep track of your account suspicious activity may occur and cost you valuable time and money.
Not Using Fraud Protection
The most secure apps and websites use data encryption up to 256-bit, which is the highest level, but as a consumer or business owner, it's also on you to protect yourself. Fraud protection is available from numerous providers at little to no cost, and can save you much more than just money in the future.
Card not present transactions make up most of the shopping industry today, which means protecting yourself from online fraud is more important than ever. Don't put your livelihood and bank account at risk.