Did you know that the number of internet fraud is increasing with the growth of online shopping? With most common complaints from the customers being credit card cheats, refund fraud, identity theft, and other scams, online businesses are advised to be on the alert. Since customers come first, business owners are obligated to ensure that their customer’s information is kept safe at all times.
Nevertheless, if it has not hit home the seriousness of the matter, you should keep in mind that according to a last year survey by the Federal Trade Commission; there has been a 24%increase in the number of consumers who experienced credit card fraud.
However, that should not deter you from the online business. With the increase in the number of people worldwide purchasing goods online, you should not be left behind in targeting new customers because of fear of credit card fraud.
So, here are the 5 vital ways to follow to enable you to safeguard your customer’s credit card information.
- Ensure You Transmit Data Over a Secured Network
To avoid the possibility of your customers’ credit information being hacked, never transmit their complete card’s data through the email. If you want to send the customer a digital receipt that includes their credit card number, make sure you don’t show all the numbers. For example, you can leave out the first numbers and only visibly show the last four or five numbers. Above all, never show their card expiring date. Additionally, apart from keeping their credit card data secured, you should also make sure the other information, whether it is a Discover cash back card, Capital One mail offer card or American Express Green card, stays secure too.
- Minimize Access to Your Data
It might not seem like a big deal to let multiple employees’ access your database, but that is not the case. To be able to monitor your data information, select a few numbers of employees to be in charge of the credit card information. Apart from carefully selecting trustworthy employees, you should also make certain they are equipped with the skills when it comes to the payment processing equipment they are using. However, to maximize the data protection, you can take the split knowledge and dual control wherein the system requires two users to perform high-level tasks. The tasks may include data deletion, key creation, or other database management tasks. With this process, you will be able to make it harder for anyone to tamper with your system. Most noteworthy, don’t forget to have a procedure in place to deny login access by any employee who has left your business.
- Avoid Storing the Customers Credit Card Numbers
No matter the business reason you have for storing your customer’s credit card information, the processing regulations specifically forbids it. Therefore, to avoid one of the biggest PCI compliance risks, you should avoid storing any credit card numbers. However, if you want to easily access your existing customer’s information, make sure you use an approved service provider. The service provider will manage the credit card processing and credit card account storage for you. The provider will give you an encrypted ID to only use when transacting with an existing customer. Nonetheless, your business will never come into contact with the stored credit card.
- Implement Strong Authentication for All Your Systems
As a general rule in this digital world, complex passwords are important. However, very few individuals or businesses adhere to this rule. With poor password management, many online businesses find themselves extremely vulnerable to data breaches, account take over and other forms of system hacking. It’s sad that many hackers will set up bots that will constantly hit your site to try to guess your username and password to gain entry. Therefore, to prevent them from achieving this, ensure you have strong passwords that are not associated with you or your business. Additionally, you can also boost security through multifactor and biometric authentication.
- Encrypt Your Phone Orders Recordings
It’s no secret that many businesses that take phone orders record call to enable them to monitor service quality and also keep proof of payment authorization. Nonetheless, what many businesses don’t realize is that when they record the phone calls, they are actually creating a database of credit card numbers. With these recordings actually leading to theft or misuse of information, it is vital to encrypt them immediately. Also, go the extra mile and store them in a limited password-protected directory. Furthermore, make sure there is no software attached to the storage system that will enable text-to-speech conversion. That way, you will ensure no credit numbers will be readily available for anyone accessing the system.
So there you have it, the 5 vital ways to safeguard your customer’s credit card information. However, never forget keeping your customer’s data secure is your responsibility. Therefore, always aim to be on top of your game when it comes to your customer’s information by simply applying the above ways and also regularly taking up security training for yourself and staff.