Anti-fraud company Iovation is reporting that credit card fraud for online shopping during the first shopping weekend of the holiday shopping season that began on November 25th increased by 20% over last year and 34% over 2014. This is not surprising because safer EMV credit cards with a chip that issue a new authorizing code every time the card is used cannot use the chip capability when shopping online, leaving them more vulnerable to hackers accessing the victim’s credit card number which can then be used by the criminal for online purchases. Victims may become victims of this type of identity theft through either security weaknesses in their own devices or at websites where they shop.
This year 55% of online shoppers used their smartphones and other portable devices to make their online purchases and while many people have security software installed and regularly updated on their computers, many people do not take the same type of precautions with their smartphones or other portable devices, leaving them in greater danger of being hacked. The key is to protect all of your devices with security software and keep it updated to protect you from the latest strains of malware as well as to prevent the malware from ever being installed on your devices. The best thing you can do to prevent the malware from becoming installed on your devices is to never click on links in emails or text messages unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication and the link are genuine. Clicking on tainted links in specifically tailored spear phishing emails and text messages are still the most common method that malware is spread.
It is also important when shopping online to use your credit card rather than your debit card. The consumer protection laws are stronger in regard to credit cards than debit cards and the inconvenience of having your debit card hacked is much greater than the problems you encounter when your credit card is hacked.