5 tips to protect your credit card information during shopping season


Shoppers will spend billions online this holiday season, potentially risking their credit information to cyber hackers.

Shoppers were expected to spend $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, and approximately 78 million people in the U.S. were expected to shop on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation, due in part to changing consumer power of generations.

» RELATED: 5 ways to stay out of debt this holiday shopping season

Natalie Dunlevey, president of Dayton-based National Processing Solutions, said this holiday season “has many worried about cybertheft. Although the Equifax breach and other incidences have slipped from the headlines … maliciously obtained consumer data remains firmly in the hands of the hackers.”

“During an e-commerce transaction, the point-of-capture is when the consumer hits the ‘submit’ button on the website. This is when the data is at the greatest risk and when the cyber thieves are trying to collect the ‘data in motion.’ Websites and their processors have to employ end-to-end or point-to-point encryption across the networks to mask this data in order to protect it. In addition, eCommerce sites and their processors should always tokenize this information once the data is stored,” she said.

Dunlevey has five tips for consumers who want to protect their identity and credit information this holiday season:

» In-person transactions are always more secure, so shopping local can help.

» Don’t buy from a website that you have never heard of or is making claims that sound dubious.

» Don’t send your credit card or debit card in an email.

» Go online and check your credit card or debit card statement after a transaction to ensure that a breach did not occur. In the event that you are breached, contact your credit card company or bank immediately.

» Be aware of breaches that you hear about in the news.

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