No company is completely safe from the various types of credit card fraud. Identity theft has become a common crime and data breaches are far from unknown in the business world. Regardless of their size, companies are charged with protecting their own data as well as the credit card data of their customers. Below are some data safety measures —-
Handling Breaches Immediately
No payment processing security system is 100 percent guaranteed against failure. Breaches still occur and when they do, a company must be ready to deal with them; this is not an area in which a business can afford to procrastinate. They will need to investigate the circumstances of all breaches and take concrete steps to mitigate the damage done.
Complying with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Standards
The different credit card companies require PCI compliance, therefore a business should ensure that its payment software is both current and compliant. The business itself should be PCI-Data Security Standard certified. This certification signifies that a company takes its responsibility to protect its customer’s credit card information seriously. Not being compliant could also result in the company paying thousands of dollars in fines. Building a compliant network, means using the technology and procedures described in the PCI security standards.
<>Ensuring Network Security
Even if a company does not do business online, it is still vulnerable to attacks from the Internet. Data stored on any Internet-connected computer can be breached. It is important that a firewall be in place and that it be checked on a regular basis for activity. Antivirus software should always be running and the virus definitions in the antivirus software should be updated regularly. It is important that end-to-end encryption be used when sending or receiving customer information online. This means that the payment devices and payment software that the company uses should be able to encrypt customer data.
Dealing with Skimmers and Other Aspects of Credit Card Theft
Human error and inexperience are among the big problems when it comes to ensuring credit card safety. Any employees whose work involves accepting credit cards from customers should be familiar with how the equipment they are using looks and works. Credit card skimmers are small devices used to read and record credit card information; employees should be able to immediately spot any new device attached to their equipment. It is also important to consider the fact that sometimes data breaches originate on the inside of a business. It is a good idea for a business to limit the number of employees with access to its customers’ credit card data.
Receipts should be secure to minimize customers’ exposure to credit card fraud. The federal Fair and Accurate Transactions Act states that only the last four or five digits of a customer’s credit card number should be printed on a receipt. This means that any business that is printing out the entire credit card number is in violation of this act.
The duty to keep customers’ information safe comes with the ability to accept credit cards. Customers are entrusting their financial information to the merchant, it is the merchant’s responsibility to keep it from falling into the hands of criminals. Following the best practices regarding credit card data security reassures customers that a business is serious about taking care of them.