Maybe you own more than one credit card already. Perhaps you’ve checked out a guide like Credello’s handpicked credit cards for major expenses and are gearing up to apply for a new one. However, keep in mind that the more cards you have, the more vulnerable you are to cybercriminals.
Protecting your credit card information is crucial for your financial security, and staying informed about potential risks can help you remain vigilant against cyber threats. From phishing emails to data breaches that leave you exposed, it’s important to be aware of all the hacking tactics that exist so you can protect your card to the best of your ability. Here are all the ways your credit card can be hacked in this day and age.
Cybercriminals send fake emails or messages, posing as legitimate organizations (e.g., banks, online retailers), to trick individuals into revealing their credit card information on fake websites. These websites look identical to the real ones, but the data entered gets captured by the attackers.
Criminals use physical devices called skimmers to steal credit card information at ATMs, gas pumps, or point-of-sale (POS) terminals. These skimmers are often placed on top of or inside card readers to intercept card data when users swipe or insert their cards.
Large-scale data breaches occur when hackers infiltrate companies’ databases containing credit card information. Once obtained, the stolen data is often sold on the dark web or used for fraudulent purposes.
Malware can be installed on a victim’s computer or mobile device to capture every keystroke, including credit card numbers and passwords, as users enter them on websites.
Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks
Cybercriminals position themselves between a user and a website or online service, intercepting data transmitted between the two parties, including credit card details.
Cybercriminals use stolen credit card information to make small transactions or test the validity of the card before making larger purchases.
Hackers can intercept unencrypted Wi-Fi communications and collect credit card information when users make online purchases or access sensitive accounts on unsecured networks.
By manipulating or deceiving individuals, attackers may extract credit card details through phone calls, emails, or messages, exploiting human trust and emotions.
The list above is enough to make anyone paranoid. To safeguard yourself from credit card fraud, consider these preventive measures:
- Be cautious with unsolicited emails and messages, especially those requesting sensitive information.
- Use secure and reputable websites for online transactions, always double-checking the website’s URL and SSL certificate.
- Regularly monitor your credit card statements and report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
- Keep your devices and software up-to-date to protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive transactions unless you have a reliable and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection.
- Use strong and unique passwords for your accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.