Card not present transactions are a double edged sword. While they make for a convenient consumer shopping experience, credit card fraud is far more difficult to prevent when neither the cardholder nor the card are physically present during the transaction. During a traditional face-to-face transaction, the merchant is able to inspect the card’s validity and can Certify that the cardholder is actually authorized, by requesting ID or matching the signature on the receipt to the one on the back of the card.
Unfortunately, none of these actions can be performed during a card not present transaction, making it easy for hackers to retrieve consumer information. However, a combination of fraud prevention tips and tools along with a little cyber security know-how can protect both merchants and consumers from the devastation of a security breach.
Here are a just a few things to keep in mind.
If you’re a merchant that accepts payments online or over the phone, it’s important to actually call the customer phone number provided in order to Certify the transaction information prior to shipping the order. In their haste to max out the credit line before the fraud is detected, hackers may not be able to Certify such information as they typically order at random and rarely keep records.
Don’t trust your favorite coffee shop’s Wi-Fi
Starbucks may be able to make a mean — and expensive — latte, but any public wireless connection carries extra risk because it is are not private. Therefore, it’s recommended that consumers refrain from online shopping or engaging in any financial transactions, such as logging into a bank account, while connected to such hot spots. However, playing a level or two of Candy Crush is just fine.
Be smart about your smartphone
Web browsers and retailers apps on smartphones and tablets make shopping on the go quick and easy. However, doing so exposes consumers to a slew of risks, since many mobile devices lack the same kind of data encryption installed on desktop computers. Consumers can protect their mobile devices by doing something as small as enabling the password lock feature, which makes it that much more difficult for hackers to access private data. Also, consumers are urged to be wary of apps that may steal personal information.