NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It seems like every fews weeks there's a new report of a big box chain identity breach. Millions of Americans have been victimized at this point and you don’t want to be one of them. But there are ways to protect yourself. Unless you want to give up credit cards or shopping at big box stores, read on to learn what you can do to protect yourself without sacrificing the convenience of either.
Use a Credit Card, Not a Debit Card
Steven J. Weisman, a professor at Boston's Bentley University and the webmaster of Scamicide.com, points out that most people think debit cards are safer, but nothing could be further from the truth.
"If your debit card is stolen in a hack you don't have nearly the same protections you do for a credit card," he says. Whereas nearly every credit card company has a "zero liability" policy, banks tend to increase your liability the longer it takes you to report the breach. In a worst-case scenario, using a debit card means you can end up being on the hook for every last cent fraudulently spent from your account.
Use a Single Credit Card
Another tip Weisman relates is using a single credit card for big box purchases and a single credit card for online purchases. The reason being, if there is a breach, you can immediately cancel the card in question. Compare this to using multiple cards. Not only might you have to cancel multiple cards, but you might not even know what cards you should be canceling. Having specific cards directed to specific purposes is a simple way you can track your purchases and insulate yourself from cyberattacks. It's a win all around.