CT BBB: Letting retailers store credit info is risky

Allowing an online retailer to keep your credit card info on file seems like such an easy way to streamline your shopping. “This is now an important consideration because of the number and types of data theft over the past several years,” said Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz in a news release. “The theft of personal information from medical insurance companies, restaurants and retailers has chipped away at consumers' trust of how their information is handled.” Our credit and debit card numbers are exposed more than ever before, and saving your credit card information on a retailer’s computers leaves that information open to theft. BBB offers the following tips for safe online shopping: Exercise your rights - In most cases, merchants will ask if you’d like them to keep your credit card number on file. Remove your credit card information - Some online merchants do not ask if you’d like them to store your card information, but after you have made a purchase or logged-in to your account, look for the option to remove your payment information from companies' files. Hackers can set up a fake network with a name similar to that of the store, coffee shop, retailer or library where free Wi-Fi is offered. If you connect to it, they can get into your files and steal your information. However, with a debit card, cybercriminals can empty your bank account after a data breach. If there are unusual or unauthorized charges, call your financial institution right away. In addition, check sites you usually visit to remove your debit or credit card information if you'd prefer to avoid the risks of a data breach.
  • The Connecticut Better Business Bureau recommends consumers take into account potential risks when an online retailer offers to keep your credit card information on file. Photo: Dreamstime / TNS / TNS

Allowing an online retailer to keep your credit card info on file seems like such an easy way to streamline your shopping. After all, who wants to keep filling out the same numbers over and over? But this convenience carries risk, according to the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

“This is now an important consideration because of the number and types of data theft over the past several years,” said Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz in a news release. “The theft of personal information from medical insurance companies, restaurants and retailers has chipped away at consumers’ trust of how their information is handled.”

Our credit and debit card numbers are exposed more than ever before, and saving your credit card information on a retailer’s computers leaves that information open to theft. Experts say that consumers should assume that anything stored online can…

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