Conducting e-commerce entails placing your sensitive data online, which involves inherent risks, because sometimes it could find its way into malicious hands. Given our substantial reliance on the online marketplace these days, consumers often forget that there are black-hat hackers looking for opportunities to take advantage of our personal information on the internet.
Unless consumers are proactive about protecting their data, they could all too easily be vulnerable to attack. The US is the number-one targeted country for data breaches, with 43% of reported attacks. China currently experiences 32% of such attacks, and the UK follows considerably behind both with just 9%.
Once your data has been breached, it will be sold to the highest bidder. But that’s just the beginning, unfortunately, because your personal information may eventually be released on the dark web where it’s accessible for free, and released multiple times with other individuals’ compromised data.
When your personal specifics get stolen, they repeatedly fall into the hands of bad actors. Unless you take the necessary steps to change the details, the theft will continue to cause problems for you as well as others.
Pinpointing the Breach
When consumers detect suspicious charges on a credit card, they naturally try to pinpoint where the data breach occurred. Unless they happened to shop at a single online store in the recent past, this can be nearly impossible.
When companies are made aware of incursions into their data, they are required by law to notify their consumers of a possible break-in. Such notifications can certainly be helpful, but all too often as much as 300 days may pass after the initial invasion for a company to detect it.
This is what makes it vital for businesses to maintain appropriate cybersecurity to limit attacks on their systems. Security is just as crucial as the other tools that firms employ to maximize their profits and track their maintenance, work orders, and purchase approvals.
The variety of automated tools and resources a company can use not only safeguard its users, but ensure a high-quality product delivered in a timely manner, supports a fitting business model that should attract customers for years to come.
How to Protect Your Data
Staying off the web is virtually impossible, so to speak, but there are suitable steps and precautions you can take to limit your risk while engaging in e-commerce.
- Use One Account
Limit the amount of information you make available on the internet by using only one card or account for all your e-commerce transactions. If you follow this practice, your other accounts will be protected if and when your information falls into the wrong hands, which will make it less of a headache to rectify.
- Use Virtual Account Numbers
Some banks will create virtual one-time numbers for each online purchase. This eliminates the risk of your specific card information falling into the wrong hands.
- Use Complex Passwords
Make all of your passwords different, and take the trouble to design unique and complex ones. Always include capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Some security experts even recommend you write an entire sentence for your password, which will further limit the potential for bad actors to gain access to your information.
- Shop on Secure Networks
When you shop online, never it on public WiFi, where your information can be intercepted. In addition, don’t forget that the S in the URL field of your internet browser stands for “secure,” so instead of “http,” a secure network will read “https.”
- Track the Spending on Your Card
When all other precautions fail, track your card and the spending on it week by week. This should help you to catch any suspicious expenditures more quickly, and protect you further from the negative repercussions of stolen data and credit card information.
Nonparticipation in e-commerce is not practical, but pinpointing a breach can be quite difficult. If you take appropriate precautions to protect your information on the web, you can limit the fall-out if and when your data gets pilfered.
Data breaches are on the rise, affecting more than 422 million people in 2022 alone. When you take preventive measures to combat these violations, you will protect yourself from the negative repercussions more effectively.