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'Backoff' Malware Steals Customer Credit Cards From 600 Stores

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security reported that around 600 businesses fell prey to a Point of Sale malware, called “Backoff”, that steals customer payment details through remote access applications. Most of the businesses affected were small, independent brick-and-mortar retailers, but some larger chains were impacted as well. The scope of the attacks could widen as more affected businesses are discovered.

Unfortunately, this kind of criminal activity is growing. Identity theft, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, affected 16.6 million people in 2012. Hackers often sell credit card data in underground markets. The data can be used to create fake credit cards, or to make online purchases, which can be quickly sold for a profit.

While Norton can help protect your credit card information while it’s on your computer, once you hand it over to a merchant, you are relying on their IT security measures to protect your data.

Monitor Credit Cards To Keep Fraud At Bay

It’s hard to carry cash everywhere we go for all of our purchases. When using credit cards, it is vital to keep a watchful eye on your credit card activity. Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Sign up for online access to your credit card account via the credit card company’s website, or download their app.
  2. Keep track of your transactions online, and be sure to verify your purchases.
  3. Report any suspicious transactions to your credit card company immediately. If you discover a fraudulent charge, in most cases, the charge can be reversed, and your account will be frozen to prevent any further fraudulent activity.

Staying on top of your bills is important, but, luckily, it’s easier than ever. Many credit card companies now let you set up custom alerts to notify you of specific activity on your account, and many companies vigilantly monitor customer accounts for unusual activity. Being vigilant can help stop fraud on your account and keep your funds protected—at least until the next sale.