Data Breaches and Social Media

I have been keeping an eye on data breach problems for as long as I have been in business. I have been saying for years that social media companies have their hands everywhere and are sharing your information. This is after all exactly what social media is!!

With that being said, the article I am sharing below only lists emails, and phone numbers being released. But… every bit of that is linked to most consumers financial institutions for easy access.

Pretty sure they are sharing that information as well. Point is data breaches will always be an issue as long as there is data to breach. Even before the technology was in our hands to store so many facts about ourselves. We would use mail and bank ledgers, checks, or tax papers, passports, journals, and more. These were stored in our home, bank vaults, at the office in filing cabinets… etc. But, no less vulnerable.

Before technology people worried about checkbooks being stolen. And some stranger writing all those checks for merchandise and wiping out your account. There were mail scams and stolen hard copy files. Basically, if it was something someone wanted that they could use to better their situation, there isn’t much you can do to stop them. A thief is a thief!

Now, knowing this that our data needs protected as much as it did in the past. We have to take more steps to secure it as best we can. Sticking our heads in the sand won’t make the problem go away. Neither will taking actions like completely avoiding social media (which only penalizes you and your company) won’t protect it either.

Our data is out there but there are steps a savvy person in the 21st century can do to limit the amount of damage a thief can do. Things like hiring a tech-security company to put protocols in place for your office and home computer uses. You can also hire a social media expert to teach you and your staff how to properly use social media to gain all the value but limit the pitfalls. Plus, you can use systems that have safeguards in place to protect your transactions online and protect your customers data at the same time! #SmarterIsAlwaysBetter than ignoring or avoiding.

Prevent Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud

When your business address is prefaced by “www” and ends in “.com”, you need all the help you can get when it comes to preventing online credit card fraud. You already pay more in merchant account fees because you deal in CNP (card not present) credit card transactions. So you will want to lower your risk of getting slammed by fraudsters and identity thieves.

Here are 5 suggestions to help prevent Credit Card fraud:

Check whether the order is coming from a “high risk” country. 

  • Any order that comes from outside the U.S. should raise a big red flag, and some of those flags fly higher than others. Granted, just because the order originates in a country on the first list doesn’t guarantee that it’s fraudulent. But, it should motivate you to use other tools to confirm its legitimacy to help prevent credit card fraud.

Beware the free or anonymous email address.

  • These include providers like and, whose email accounts are virtually untraceable. Legitimate customers may well use free email addresses for the convenience and cost savings they offer, but so do most fraudsters intent on remaining anonymous. In the B2B environment, however, most businesses have their own domain names; if not, exercise caution and get additional information, such as the customer’s geographic location, to determine if their order needs to be checked further.

Check the mailing address. 

  • Is it a mailbox or ship-forward service? Fraudsters want to cover their tracks while collecting their ill-gotten booty. A public post office box, private mailbox or drop shipment forwarding address fits their strategy. Think twice before sending merchandise to any of these types of addresses.

Confirm that the address on file

  • Confirm that the address on file with the card issuer matches the shipping address. This service, known as address verification system is offered by many reputable merchant account providers. A thief who’s using a stolen credit card or account number to make a purchase will have the order shipped to their own address or that of an accomplice, not the cardholder’s address. By using AVS, you can quickly confirm this discrepancy.

Contact the issuing bank to verify the card.

  • A quick, toll-free call to the customer service department of the bank that issued the credit card is in order if you have any suspicions about the validity of the account. The issuing bank phone number is based on the Bank Identification Number (BIN), which is found in the first 6 digits of the credit card number.

All merchants — online or off — must be aware of the threat of credit card fraud and be ready to implement security measures like those outlined above.

Total elimination of credit card fraud may be out of reach, but managing your exposure to it is not, especially when you team up with an experienced merchant account provider