5 New Ways to Protect Your Identity
• Amp Up
SecurityMerchants can be proactive about securing customer information online by modifying the features available from prepackaged payment security tools. Even a basic understanding of utilizing encryption and cryptographic hashes can significantly tighten security on an online merchant site.• Restrict Access to InformationAny information collected and stored online should be visible to a very limited number of people. Automated credit card payment processing may limit the amount of information that will need to be viewed. No merchants or employees of merchants need to personally view credit card information when payment is automated. Only shipping information will need to be reviewed.
• Gather Only Necessary Information
Every piece of information that is gathered by an online merchant is another piece of the puzzle that identity thieves use to complete fraudulent transactions and find possible targets. Information should be limited to only what the merchant needs to complete the transaction. For example, merchants do not require social security information and should not request this information.
• Proactive Customers
Customers can protect their identities by being proactive about where they enter their personal information. For example, merchant websites should always be accessed directly via a browser rather than a link contained in an email. Merchants should be utilizing security packages and obtaining security seals, but the customer also has a responsibility to verify this information prior to making a purchase.