Privacy / Security

Retail data breaches: 5 ways consumers can protect themselves

25th Sep `14, 04:00 PM in Privacy / Security

Data breaches at retailers aren’t going away but there are ways consumers can protect themselves from future heists…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

Data breaches at retailers aren’t going away but there are ways consumers can protect themselves from future heists of their payment card information.

Home Depot said Thursday that malicious software lurking in its check-out terminals between April and September affected 56 million debit and credit cards that customers swiped at its stores. Target, Michaels and Neiman Marcus have also been attacked by hackers in the past year.

More breaches are likely. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Department warned last month that more than 1,000 retailers could have malware in their cash-register computers.

Here are five ways to protect yourself:

1. CONSIDER ANOTHER WAY TO PAY

Try newer ways to pay, such as PayPal or Apple Pay. “Any technology that avoids you having your credit card in your hand in a store is safer,” says Craig Young, security researcher for software maker Tripwire. Those services store your credit card information and it’s not given to the retailer when you make a payment. Many big retailers, including Home Depot, accept PayPal at their stores, but many others don’t. Apple Pay, which was only introduced this month, has even more limitations: It is available in just a small number of stores so far and only people with an iPhone 6 can use it.

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