Wednesday, January 25, 2023

How To Protect Your Credit Card Number

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Craig Young Tripwire: The State Of Security

Protecting your credit card number

This active contributor to Tripwire is a computer security researcher for their Vulnerabilities and Exposures Research Team. His work in the field has been responsible for disclosing a considerable number of security risks with industry giants like Google, HP, Apple, and Amazon.

If anyone knows how to spot a weak point in a system, its Craig.


Payment card security from a consumers perspective is a tricky subject, and no matter what precautions are taken, there is always the possibility for card numbers to be stolen.

As such the first and perhaps most effective countermeasure against fraudulent charges is the vigilant card holder. I recommend checking online card statements on a weekly basis and promptly alerting the card issuer of any unrecognized charges.

This is a general best practice for using payment cards but there are also some more specific precautions for eCommerce:

Avoid using debit cards online, as they do not always provide the same degree of fraud protection as a traditional card.

Use a specific credit card for online transactions, and nothing else. By consolidating charges to a particular card it becomes easier to review for and recognize fraudulent activity on the account. Some consumers go so far as to report cards as lost or stolen on a regular basis such as every quarter or every year.

Remember S Is For Secure

Always make sure your connection to a website is secure. When you see the lock symbol in your Internet browser’s URL field, and the address starts with “https” rather than “http”, this indicates that the transaction is encrypted. This isnt 100 per cent safe, since cybercriminals can obtain legitimate security certificates, but it does prevent opportunistic scams.

What Are Benefits Of Masked Credit Card Numbers

Using a masked credit card number is safer than using your real card details any time you’re shopping online. It’s especially useful when you want to buy something from a website that you’ve never used before and you aren’t sure of its reputation or security history. How safe is its payment processing? In a case like that, you can generate a new number for the purchase in a matter of seconds and then, as soon as the payment goes through, disable the number you created. That way, no one can ever charge that masked number again.

Another advantage is you can easily generate a masked number that you can give to an authorized user so that they can use your credit card account securely and with ease. The recipient has the freedom to use the card for the purchases they need, and you can disable the card when they’re done. With a business account, you can give an authorized person a masked number that’s good until a certain date or valid only up to a certain dollar amount. They can buy whatever they need and you can trash the number when they’re done.

With many banks that offer this service, you can generate a new masked number every time you make an online purchase, or you can create one number for each website where you shop. It’s up to you how to manage them.

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After: How To Recover From Identity Theft

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, and you’ve been able to confirm the theft of your personal or financial information, keep calm. There are ways to minimize the damage and to protect yourself from future theft.

First, anyone that is a victim of identity theft is protected by the FTC’s Identity Theft Fraud Victim Bill of Rights. It’s a list of 21 rights as assured by the U.S. federal government. Protections fall into such categories as “Working with Credit Bureaus”, “Communicating with Creditors and Debt Collectors,” and “Limits on Financial Losses.”

Next, you can take one of two steps to begin recovery from identity theft. You can either initiate a fraud alert or a credit freeze. Which one you choose depends on the type of personal information stolen and the severity of the fraud it has been used for.

Skimming Credit/debit Card Information At Point

How to protect yourself against simplest form of credit card theft

While this scam has been around for several years, skimming is still a common method of credit card fraud. Skimming occurs at point of sale systems where debit and credit cards are used to make transactions, such as ATMs, gas pumps, and cash registers. More often than not, skimming is pulled off during legitimate transactions.

One example of skimming occurs when thieves use a “universal key” to open gas pumps and embed a device that captures card numbers. They also position a pinhole camera nearby that records the pin numbers. Fake cards are then encoded with the information and fiscal havoc ensues.

How do skim artists do this without getting caught? Sometimes its an inside job, orchestrated by an employee of the institution. Other times it is just good scouting crooks pick stations that dont have adequate camera surveillance. And any of those other instances in between, its the devils work. Seriously…

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Melanie Medina Identity Force

Sr. Director of Digital Marketing at IdentityForce Melanie is a native of Bolivia who lives in Boston with her husband, and she always makes time to travel, jog, read, and play backgammon.

Fueled by copious amounts of coffee, Melanie stays on top of her to-do list while also keeping abreast of identity theft issues. Serious data breaches are happening all the time in the U.S. and Melanie loves being part of a solution that brings peace of mind to families across the country.


To make online payments with credit and debit cards more secure, there are several things you can consider, including the following tips:

  • For extra protection against having your card number stolen, use one-time credit card numbers that you can set up with your card provider.
  • Set up alerts so you are promptly notified of transactions that may be fraudulent, such as card not present or transactions over certain amount.
  • Be sure anytime you make an online purchase you buy from a secure website that has a current SSL certificate and displays a lock in the address bar.
  • You can also use PayPal which is a service that enables you to make a purchase without revealing your financial details.
  • How Can A Hacker Get My Cvv Number

    There are two main ways that hackers can get your CVV number. The first is by phishing and the second is by using a web-based keylogger.

    • Phishing. This is a form of online security theft where sensitive information is stolen, such as your credit card details. Phishing can include tricky links , DNS cache poisoning and screen capture malware .

    Have you ever received an email that looked like it might have been sent by your bank but it had a few suspicious details? Maybe there were tons of typos, the return email address wasnt the official address you usually receive correspondence from or perhaps there was a link to an unfamiliar website. If any of these apply, its likely that this was a phishing email.

    • Keylogger. A keylogger can be illegally installed on an online website so that all of the data customers submit to the site is duplicated and forwarded to the attackers server. They do this by form grabbing: taking form data submitted by users . The keylogger is designed to capture your data entered in the form field before its encrypted and submitted to the site.

    Most fraudsters dont gather this information themselves. Instead, they purchase packages of cardholder data, including account names, full card numbers, expiration dates, CVV numbers and addresses.

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    Ways To Keep Your Credit Card Safe

    1. Do a double take

    When youre at the register, you may be rushing to grab your stuff and go, but it only takes a few seconds to check your receipt and make sure you have not been overcharged or charged twice. It is easier to correct right at the cash register, than it is to deal with it later.

    2. Dont loan your card

    Your Credit Card is not like a book you can lend someone. It is tied to your credit score, so while you might want to help your friend and let them use your card to buy those concert tickets, dont do it.

    3. Keep your eyes on your card

    When it comes to your Credit Card, make sure you can see it at all times. So the next time youre at a restaurant and your server wants to take your card with them, refuse. You can go with them to pay or they can bring a machine to the table.

    4. Dont share

    Want to give your dorm mate your Credit Card number to pay for your half of the mini-fridge? Dont text or email them your number. Those methods are not secure and you never know whose eyes could be viewing your personal information. Instead, go with your friend to make the purchase or pay them back later.

    5. Check it out

    When you get your Credit Card statement, dont get into the habit of just glossing over the list of transactions and then only looking at your balance. Pay close attention. This is your chance to see if there are any suspicious charges that you did not make. If you catch some, call your Credit Card provider right away.

    6. Shred it

    Phishing Emails Or Texts

    Protecting the credit & debit cards inside your wallet

    Phishing is a type of social engineering attack designed to trick you into giving up your sensitive information. A phishing message pretends to be from an organization you trust like your bank or the IRS. But if you share information by clicking on the link or responding to the email/text, the data goes directly to a hacker.

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    Formjacking On Websites You Use And Trust

    Hackers inject malicious software onto website forms. When you enter your info â including credit card numbers â they get access to them.

    Researchers found âformjackingâ code on major sites like Ticketmaster, Newegg, and British Airways. In 2022, security experts detected the code on over 100 real estate websites .

    Only Shop On Secure Network

    For online shopping, only use secure, reputable websites and avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi. Cyber criminals often spy on public Wi-Fi networks and intercept data that transferred across the link. Public network can leave you vulnerable to these attacks enabling hackers to access your confidential financial information, banking credentials, account passwords and other sensitive data. Read more about Public Wi-Fi security.

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    Check The Security Certificates

    Simply put, a security certificate and a Secure Socket Layer are security features of a website that encrypt sensitive information being passed between your web browser and the banks web server. The easiest way to check if you are accessing an authentic and protected site is to look for a padlock icon in the address bar. Here at Westpac, you can also identify your secure browser by looking for the green address bar.

    Sign In With Fingerprint Sign In

    Protecting your credit card number online

    Westpac Live was one of the first mobile banking apps to introduce fingerprint access to mobile banking on supported devices. Fingerprint sign in for mobile banking means you can access youre the Westpac mobile banking app by using your fingerprint for authentication rather than a 4 digit passcode. Learn more about fingerprint sign in today.

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    Protect Your Sensitive Data At Home And In Public

    • Be careful during in-person transactions. If possible, keep a credit card in your sight whenever paying at a restaurant or store. Also, beware of shoulder surfers watching you key in your card information.
    • Avoid paying by credit card on the phone. Whenever possible, use another method of payment. And only share information with representatives at numbers youâve called. Donât trust incoming calls that ask for financial information or account numbers.
    • Shred mail before throwing it away. Many shredders donât offer great protection, so look for a model that offers âmicro cutâ shredding. Thieves can reconstruct pages from other shredders in a matter of hours.
    • Be wary of incoming phone calls. Incoming calls that require you to âconfirmâ details are often scams to collect that very data. Instead, make an outgoing call to the organizationâs official number.
    • Set up a credit freeze. A credit freeze is a security measure that can keep thieves from opening accounts in your name. Consider keeping your credit frozen at all times, and only unfreeze it when applying for a loan or buying a house or car.

    Set Up Mobile Payment For Your Pos

    More and more consumers are choosing to use mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, or Chase Pay. Why? Convenience is a big factor. But so is safety.

    In some ways, mobile payments are actually safer than traditional credit card payments because a consumers financial information isnt transferred during the transaction. Only a coded version of the data is used to authorize a payment.

    But mobile payment is also safer for the business accepting that payment which they can set up through a modern POS with integrated payments because most phones already require one- or two-factor authentication, making the data harder to hack and a stolen phone harder to use.

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    How To Tell If Your Card Numbers Have Been Stolen

    • Suspicious activity on your credit card or bank statement. Donât ignore small transactions, either. A $0.01 charge could be a scammer testing your card to make sure itâs active before moving on to bigger purchases.
    • New accounts or hard inquiries on your credit report. You can request a free copy once a year at Your credit report shows all credit associated with your identity. Look for accounts you didnât create, amounts different from your statements, or inquiries you donât recognize.
    • Fraud alerts from your bank, credit card, or credit monitoring service. Your bank or card provider may alert you to purchases they think are fraudulent. But they often come too late . A credit monitoring service actively monitors all transactions on your card, credit report, and bank account and warns you of suspicious transactions in near-real-time.

    Any of these warning signs could mean your card or details are stolen. But seeing no signs doesnât necessarily mean youâre safe. A criminal could still have access to your card and be waiting to use it.

    Scanning Radio Frequency Identification Chips On Your Credit/debit Card

    Protect your credit cards from hackers

    So whats up with the microchip thats implanted in all the credit/debit cards these days? Well, its actually a radio transmitter, and this type of technology has been around since WWII. RFID chip embedment is everywhere, from shoes to humans .

    Although banks claim that RFID chips on cards are encrypted to protect information, it’s been proven that scannerseither homemade or easily boughtcan swipe the cardholders name and number. can pick up card information from 10 feet away.

    And while there hasnt yet been a recorded case of RFID fraud, many experts recognize that it would be difficult to track and that the verdict is still out as to how scanners will affect consumers in the future.

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    Ways To Protect Your Credit Card

    Physically Protecting Your Credit Cards

    Only have as many cards as you need and carry as few as possible.

    Keep seldom-used cards in a safe place.

    Keep a list of your credit card numbers and issuing companies phone numbers in a secure place.

    If you are expecting a new or re-issued credit card and do not receive it, contact the issuing company immediately.

    Activate and sign any new cards immediately when you receive them.

    If possible, get a credit card with your picture on it.

    Protecting Your Credit Card Information

    Never write your PIN number on your cards.

    Never give credit card information over the phone unless you initiated the call.

    If your credit card statement does not arrive as expected, contact the issuing company to make sure that someone else did not change your address and is receiving your statements.

    When writing a check to pay your credit card bill, do not put the full credit card account number on the Memo line. Just use the last four digits.

    Preventing Unauthorized Use of Your Credit Card

    Never lend your card to someone else. They could use it improperly or it could be stolen.

    Always total the receipt and draw lines through unused spaces on the receipt.

    Never sign a blank charge slip.

    When using your card, be sure to get it back and take the receipt.

    Keep all your credit card receipts and compare them to your account statement.

    In Case of Problems

    Dont Share Your Number With Unverified Representatives

    Hello, this is American Express calling. Would you mind verifying your credit card number?

    Identity thieves often call and claim to be from an organization you trust a fire department thats conducting a fundraiser, a utility company thats about to shut off your electricity, an administrator of a contest youve won to trick you into giving them your credit card number.

    You should also be careful about clicking any links in emails where the senders email address looks suspicious. Phishing is another form of fraud thats common online. With phishing scams, criminals may send emails pretending to be your bank or credit card issuer.

    These emails may ask for personal information or may provide you with a phony link in an effort to steal your login credentials.

    Just remember: If you didnt initiate the phone call or email, dont give out your card number.

    To check if the request is legitimate, contact the organization via its published phone number or secure messaging system. You may also want to develop the habit of visiting bank and card issuers websites directly, not via links provided in emails, out of an abundance of caution.

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