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5 Tips Consumers Should Know to Protect Their Data

| Electronic Payments Coalition

As cyber-attacks surge around the world, millions of consumers’ personal data is at risk of being hacked when they use their credit card. It’s crucial for consumers to take proactive steps to safeguard their financial data. Fortunately, many payment networks and banks provide a range of helpful tools and security measures for consumers and businesses to protect their data. It’s important for consumers to be aware of actions they can take to secure their data and protect themselves against cyber threats.

Below are five tips for protecting your data when making purchases with your credit cards.

1. Choose secure passwords and pins

When it comes to your online credit and banking, don’t use the same password you use for other accounts. To make it strong and unique, be sure to avoid numbers or letters in a row, aim for at least 15 characters, and mix it up with numbers, letters, and symbols. Also, be careful and never use personal information like your birthday or bits of your Social Security number for your secret PIN. Keep it safe and sound!

2. Pay using credit cards with EMV chip technology

Using a credit card with EMV chip technology is like having a little security superhero in your wallet. When you dip or insert your card at the payment terminal, it reads the unique and secret encrypted info from the chip on your card. This encrypted data changes every time you buy something, which makes it super tough for counterfeiters to work their tricks.

3. Utilize your bank app security features

Bank mobile apps offer great features to keep your account safe. Both two-factor authentication and account alerts are helpful tools to add an extra layer of protection against cyber-attacks. Using a two-factor authentication privacy setting creates a special passcode through text or email to make sure it’s really you trying to get into your account. Account alerts can be set up for any transaction and serve as your early warning system to spot anything suspicious and act fast. Many of them have different abilities, such as notifying of “card not present” transactions or an unusual balance. Remember, avoid using the same login info everywhere, especially for your credit card account.

4. Pay using virtual credit card numbers

Many payment networks and banking services offer “virtual account numbers” that are specific to your credit card accounts. You can use these to safely make purchases online without saving your credit card numbers. In addition, third-party digital wallets provide added protection since they don’t give your credit card information to the merchant. Instead, they serve up a one-time virtual account number for each purchase, a process called “tokenization.”

5. Small business owners–Avoid using cash

Overall, credit cards often offer better fraud protection for consumers and small business owners. Cash is easier to fall victim to theft. With credit cards you can easily report the loss before the credit card is used.

Credit cards offer both protection and convenience. Enhanced security features like EMV chips, PINs, and transaction alerts ensure safe transactions, prioritizing the security needs of consumers and merchants.

Proposed credit card routing legislation may redirect consumer spending to less secure payment networks. It’s essential to preserve the security and advancements credit cards bring to everyday transactions.

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