As we have all heard in the last couple of months, credit card theft is on the rise, as cyber-criminals are finding new ways to gather credit information. Many hackers have been able to crack secured and unsecured networks, stealing credit card data from major online retailers like Target & Nieman Marcus, and hacking into all of your data systems.
These days, protecting credit information needs to be your top priority. But how do you prevent credit card theft from occurring when cyber criminals are improving their abilities? The following are several strategies for credit card theft prevention to help your company stay safe during 2014 and beyond.
Ways to Avoid Credit Card Theft
- Make Sure You are PCI Compliant
Any time you’re dealing with sensitive information – like a customer’s credit information – it needs to be encrypted. As a merchant, you play an important role when it comes to safeguarding card information. For this reason the payment card industry requires that you satisfy some base level requirements regarding the safe handling and transmission of credit card data. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) was developed to encourage and enhance cardholder data security and facilitate the broad adoption of consistent data security measures globally. PCI DSS comprises a minimum set of requirements for protecting cardholder data, and may be enhanced by additional controls and practices to further mitigate risks. For more information regarding PCI Compliance here is a good website to get you started; http://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/pcifaqs.php
- Document and File Destruction
Both online and offline, any and all unused documents with sensitive data should be thoroughly destroyed. Papers need to be shredded, hard drives need to be erased, and all of them need to undergo a thorough data destruction process. There are now ways to renew data that had originally been completely wiped clean, even when you’ve written over the data – thorough document and data destruction is crucial to keeping your information safe.
- Separate Data and Update Regularly
In addition to technological safety precautions, make sure you’re also engaged in some common sense precautions, like keeping important, related data separate. For example, by separating customer information from credit information, and using encryption and codes to connect them together, anyone with access to your data would need to access both groups separately AND put them together before the data is usable. Similarly, by changing the codes and organization regularly, even those with access to your data may not have a way to successfully put it together.
Keeping Your Data Safe
The credit information of both you and your customers must be your top priority, both for financial reasons and for public relations. How you keep credit card information secure – and how you keep all of your data secure – plays a crucial role in your financial fitness.
Make sure you’re making smart decisions with regard to your data security, and if you are in need of data or document destruction, call Strongbox today.