How to minimize the risk of a credit card hack

SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – Another retailer says it’s been hacked. Kmart is urging customers to check their credit and debit cards after a “malicious code infected the payment data system.”

Whether you shopped at Kmart or any of the other stores who faced massive breaches, one thing is for sure, we can’t depend on retailers to protect our cards. But there are important steps we can take to minimize the risk and catch a fraudulent charge the moment it happens.

First, take a cue from Karlisha Stokes in Spartanburg “I run everything as credit so that no matter what it’s not going to hit my debit card and I can always file a claim or whatever with my debit company.”

Next step, and perhaps most important, sign up email or better yet, text alerts through your card company that tell you when a transaction is made. You can even set a threshold amount, so that you don’t get an alert unless it’s over a certain minimum.

There are also notifications if the card is used outside of the country, which leads us to another smart move:

“I just took a vacation to the dominican, so I got like an international card, and I put money on it before I left so I wouldn’t have to use my personal identification card,” said Natroysha Nesbitt.

Converse Finance professor Tom Maynard also recommends two step authentication for online purchases. That’s where the transaction won’t go through until you enter a code sent to your phone.

“If there is a charge there and you have to dispute it, that takes more time and effort and hassle, so I think using all these tools that are available, free convenient is the way to go,” said Maynard.

As for the Kmart breach, the company says there is no evidence its online store or Sears was impacted. And the company doesn’t believe any debit pin numbers were compromised.

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