Say you wanted to be secure and not do business over the internet. You just wanted to go to the store and buy what you needed and “pay” at the register. That’s secure, right? Wrong.
In the past you bought gas and used the credit card swiper at the pump. Well, the machine could be “crooked” and record your card and then someone could take them off the machine. The solution was simple. Just pay with cash.
Stores are secure, though. Nope. Well, not for the regular type of credit/debit card. Cards with ‘chips’ apparently still are (but won’t be for long).
“Here's how the malware works: once installed on a checkout computer, vSkimmer collects data about the operating system, including its current version, default language, host name, and active user name. The malware then sends this information back to a central command and control server where it can be used by hackers to keep tabs on infected POS systems. Once the hackers send a download and execute command, the malware begins scanning for any information that resembles 'Track 2' data.”
The track 2 data is the information stored on the magnetic tape strip on the back of your card. Once the cyber criminals have that information, your card can be cloned, and you’re card is shot.
At this point there are two things you can do to prevent this:
1. Subscribe to the anti-fraud programs your credit card carrier sells. It’s then their responsibility to notify you and ask if you made those transactions. Be smart and ask for a program that calls you. Of course, then you’ll have a 10 day wait for a new card.
2. Use cash. Well then, why bother with a credit/debit card? Because your credit history matters a great deal. Just be wise how and where you use it.
If you use multiple online anti-malware scanners on your computer at regular intervals and again before making a purchase, online purchasing is probably safer than other forms of purchase. Just make sure to examine the purchase site’s url.
And have a good weekend.