It seems like every couple of months we are learning about a new business that has been a victim of a credit card data breach.  These data breaches affect millions of consumers and can be quite the headache for everyone involved.
 
Here are five different ways to keep yourself safe in case there is another credit card data breach in the future.
 
Review your spending history
 
One of the most important things that you can do as a consumer is to proactively monitor your accounts.  Each month when your statements arrive go through them item by item.  If you see anything that doesn’t look right then you should call your credit card company or bank immediately.
 
I suggest calling your credit card company to set up usage alerts on your credit card.  Each time your credit card is used you will be notified.  This would be helpful to those of you that rarely use credit cards.  It might be a little much for anyone that uses a credit card regularly.

Credit Card Data Breach
 
Stay away from credit monitoring services
 
Each time there is a retail data breach it is almost guaranteed that your inbox is going to be flooded with scammers trying to sign you up for credit monitoring services.  The biggest red flag about with these offers is when they ask for your credit card information.  If you want to sign up for credit monitoring then make sure you go through a reputable company like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.
 
Choose credit when using your debit card
 
Each time you use your debit card you are prompted to enter a PIN number.  From now on opt to use it as credit rather than debit.  By doing this you will need to sign for all your purchases, but stores will not be able to store your PIN in their system. 
 
Use mobile payments or cash
 
Apple recently announced Apple Pay, which will allow consumers to make a purchase at retail stores with the use of their smartphone.  The nice thing about this technology is that your credit card number is not transferred to the store.  Instead they use a unique device number that has been assigned to your phone. 
 
If this new technology is still a little scary to you then you can always go the route of cash.  It will always keep you safe from hackers.

Request a new card
 
If you find out that there has been a breach at a store that you frequently shop, then the first thing you need to do is get on the phone and request a new card.  This means that the information the hacker might have received will be useless to them. 
 
Wrapping it up
 
Based on a recent report from the Homeland Security Department, more than 1,000 U.S retailers might have malicious software hiding in their cash registers.  That means we might have only witnessed the beginning of our data breach problems.  By using the following tips you can do your best to stay safe.

Comments (7)

Dan White

After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Transportation, Dan spent 28 years in the traffic organization at Western Electric, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. He also spent one year as a Dispatch and Warehouse Manager for North American Van Lines. Dan has worked for ATBS since 2004 and helps drivers who are struggling in their business and need in-depth assistance to get back on their feet. He uses his previous experience and knowledge of business management and the trucking industry to assist drivers.

Ask a question

Read These Next...

Comment ()


Great advice Craig

December 08, 2014 9:52:20 AM

Great Article. ID Theft, Credit Card and other personal information breaches will only continue to grow in 2015. One of the best gift I received from my parents was a paper shredder. Another good investment would be anti-theft Rfid Blocking wallet.

December 07, 2014 11:37:13 AM

Great point Craig. I still remember my job as a teen working on a trash truck. I was amazing the stuff people would simply throw into the trash thinking it would never see the light of day again .

December 07, 2014 8:53:53 AM

Great point Craig. I still remember my job as a teen working on a trash truck. I was amazing the stuff people would simply throw into the trash thinking it would never see the light of day again .

December 07, 2014 8:53:41 AM

Great information! 👀

December 05, 2014 21:29:33 PM

Things that I didn't know.

December 05, 2014 17:56:22 PM

Excellent article Dan and great advice. I have one more tip and that is to shred or burn or in some manner completely destroy all documents you receive in the mail with your name on them such as the endless stream of credit card offers, mortgage refinance offers and such. Do not ever simply throw them in your trash or your recycle can in tact. The information can be used by people to open lines of credit in your name.

I encourage anyone to take a tour of your local recycle facility, if you have one and they offer tours, and pay attention to the paper items called fiber that come across the sort lines. Within minutes you will find all types of documents that have personal information on them. I've seen credit card statements, drivers licenses, passports, bill statements and cancelled checks. The amount of our personal information that is floating around for the taking is staggering.

December 05, 2014 8:49:47 AM