It seems like every week, a major retailer is announcing a breach of their data security system, creating a sense of insecurity for millions of their customers. This trend is not something that is going to end soon either, making it imperative for each individual to safeguard their personal information, and monitor all of their financial accounts. Technology has provided with us the incredible convenience of paying for things using a credit card and the Internet. And while we enjoy coming home to a package on our porch instead of battling the crowds in stores during the holiday season, consumers can not ignore the risk that goes along with providing personal information to anyone, whether it is online or in person.
Thankfully, there are things that consumers can do to help protect themselves. The most basic and easiest is to monitor your account activity. If you see something suspicious, call your Bank or Credit Card provider immediately. Waiting too long can result in a significant loss on your end, and it could result in a hit on your credit rating.
Technology will also be a big help in battling identity theft, with innovations like Apple Pay and more secure credit cards leading the way. It will be most interesting to see the impact Apple Pay will have on the consumer. This technology, available on the iPhone 6, will allow the user to register their card information with the Apple Pay service, and instead of using their card they will simply wave their phone to make purchases at retail locations. Why is this safer? Because for each use, a new card number is assigned to the user, and that number can never be used again. Should there be a security breach, the consumer’s data is safer since the hacker will not be able to use the card number due to it constantly changing.
Of course, as much new technology will help, hackers will employ their own technological innovations to try and catch up. So it really comes down to the old principal of being careful who you provide your information too, and closely monitoring your account information. Remember, you are entitled to a free credit report each year, so make sure you take advantage of this by visiting https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action.