This year, August 4th – 10th has been designated National Fraud Awareness Week. It’s a time to learn new tips and refresh our memories about practicing online security and protecting sensitive information. While these are important matters for our concern at all times, National Fraud Awareness Week reminds us of things we can do to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud to protect ourselves, our businesses, and our customers all year round.
Keeping your wealth of personal information private can be done in a number of ways, including the following:
- Shred all documents containing personal information, such as credit card applications and bank statements.
- Regularly check your credit card and/or bank statements to ensure that suspicious transactions are detected.
- If you receive a call from your bank or any other organization, never share any personal sensitive information. Get the caller’s name and contact number instead and verify authenticity with the organization in question before calling back.
Use caution online:
- Always use firewalls and anti-virus software to protect the information stored on your computer.
- Be careful when downloading programs that may contain insecure data. Only download apps from reputable publishers and read all permission requests. Stop and think before you click on links and attachments.
- Phishing scams involve emails sent to trick you into handing over your personal and banking details to scammers. A legitimate bank or financial institution will never email you asking you to follow a link or asking you for personal details. Log directly onto websites you are interested in rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
- Don’t enter credit card information into an unsecured site. Check that your browser displays the secure lock, which can usually be found in either the bottom right corner or the top of the browser. A user can tell if they are connected to a secure website if the website URL begins with https:// instead of http://.
- Install and update your security software and set it to scan regularly.
- Turn on automatic updates on all your software, particularly your operating system and applications.
- Use strong passwords and different passwords for different uses.
It is important to understand how to stay safe and secure on the Internet as it’s increasingly become part of our daily life at home, at work and on-the-go. Practice safe habits when sharing personal and financial information.
Businesses that accept credit cards must protect their sensitive data to avoid costly and potentially devastating consequences of an actual or suspected data breach. Maintaining PCI compliance is critical to comply with payment card industry regulations. TransFirst® provides in-depth knowledge of PCI compliance to help keep you and your customers safe from the threats of credit card fraud and identity theft.