As Thanksgiving week is underway in the United States, people’s spending habits have increased substantially as families plan their grocery shopping lists for their family feasts, scour the Black Friday advertisements for deals, and begin bookmarking some of their favorite items online for Cyber Monday. With so many transactions, card data security becomes an even greater topic of discussion, and this year, we’re seeing more people looking for peace of mind rather than simply hoping for the best.
In a recent survey that we conducted, travel and retail were viewed as the least secure industries by consumers in the United States. As the population becomes more educated on card data security, people are now taking the time to check credit card devices at gas stations, ATMs, and stores for skimming devices that may look out of place. However, a large amount of compromised card data comes from cardholders that still have their credit or debit card in hand. Here are three areas to help tighten up your personal card data security practices:
1.) Consider your environment
In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we begin multi-tasking more than ever. Many have become casual with the environment in which they are sharing their card details without realizing it. Yes, it’s convenient to book that hotel reservation or modify that flight over the phone while running errands. However, if you’re reading your card details to the agent on the other end of the line, you’re also reading it aloud to the group of people around you in a public setting. If you wouldn’t hand your card to a group of strangers, don’t speak it aloud in front of them.
2.) Confirm and clarify for peace of mind
Additionally, as a consumer you reserve the right to ask the agent on the other end of your phone call what they do to remain PCI compliant and what procedures they have in place to make sure your card details are not compromised. If you’re uncomfortable sharing your card details with them, you are entitled to ask for an alternate method to make your purchase, whether that be through a website or through an automated system such as an IVR.
3.) Re-initiate contact for confirmation of charges
Lastly, if you receive a call from your phone or tv provider, your utilities company, government, or any organization calling asking you to confirm your card details for continued service or updated records, there is an unfortunate chance that it is a scam. To be sure, we advise telling the person that you’ll call the company back directly to confirm the charges. This allows you to be confident that you are working with the organization that claims to be needing your details, and not just someone calling from a masked number trying to capture as much sensitive data as they can. Bringing your card transactions back into your own control a great step in keeping your card data safe.
However you choose to pay for the turkey, the trips, and the gifts this holiday season, we hope it is filled with amazing moments and wonderful new memories. From the PCI Pal team, we wish you a safe and fantastic holiday season!