Securing Your Business: How to Protect Card Information

Protecting your business from credit card fraud is critical to overall success. In the event of a data breach, unprotected information could be lost, and your business could suffer severe financial losses. Here are some tips to help you learn how to protect card information.

How Does Credit Card Fraud Happen?

Fraud occurs when credit card information is stolen during a transaction, and there are a number of ways this can happen.

  1. Lost or Stolen Cards
    • The simplest way for thieves to gain access to personal information is by using lost or stolen credit cards, which can be as easy as stealing a new credit card from your mailbox.
  2. Emails and Loose/Paper Documents Containing Credit Card Information
    • Thieves can also send unsolicited emails and dig through your personal records, so it is important to shred any documents containing confidential credit card information
  3. Skimming and Skimmer
    • Other forms of fraud, such as skimming, are not as noticeable. Skimming can occur if a business owner or employee “forgets” to process a transaction and pockets the money for personal use.
    • Skimmers can also be installed in physical terminals at gas stations or ATM’s, and are often unrecognizable to consumers. Each time a credit card is swiped, data is stored inside the skimming device. After a few days, skimmers will return to replace the original card reader and leave with a database full of hundreds of sensitive credit card details.

4 Ways to Protect Your Business Data

It is important to know how to protect card information from fraud. Take precautionary measures to ensure your business data remains secure.

  1. Set Up Mobile Banking Alerts
    • If you have an online bank account, you can set up mobile banking alerts to be notified immediately of any suspicious card activity.
  2. Monitor Accounts Regularly
    • Be aware of what you’re spending, and where your purchases are being made
  3. Notify Your Bank
    • If you notice any unusual purchases, contact your bank directly so they can investigate the charges and settle any financial disputes.
  4. Utilize Tokenization
    • Tokenization utilizes advances payment gateway software to secure credit card information. Tokenization creates a unique code which is only decipherable with the proper tokenization system, making it extremely difficult for hackers to steal your data.

How Do You Process Transactions?

The method in which you process transactions can greatly affect your company’s credit card security.

  1. Card-Present Transactions
    • Any transaction where the credit card is manually swiped through a physical terminal
    • Installing EMV-compatible terminals can help safeguard against fraud for card-present transactions.
    • Credit cards are able to be physically verified in person
  2. Card-Not-Present Transactions
    • This is when you manually enter the credit card information into a virtual gateway, and the card is not being swiped through a physical terminal.
    • Can carry a higher fraud risk since neither the cardholder nor the credit card are physically present.
    • Utilizing tokenization can help secure credit card data when performing card-not-present transaction

On average, 10% of Americans have been victims of credit card fraud, resulting in over $5 billion in credit card fraud worldwide. When it comes to securing your data, business owners should know how to protect card information.

To learn more about how to protect card information from fraud, click here

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