E-Skimming Is The Newest Online Scam

November 5, 2019

© Jakub Jirsák | Dreamstime

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Last year we were dealing with a slew of credit card skimmers on gas pumps. Thieves would install a malicious plastic card reader that snaps over the tops of card readers on ATMs—and reads all your information. A new threat is a digital form of skimming called, appropriately, "e-skimming," and it's becoming increasingly more prevalent.  Instead of a fake credit card reader that pretends to be a real credit card reader, e-skimming operations infect legitimate shopping websites to steal payment information. Hackers insert “malicious code,” into these sites. Even worse is that e-skimming is hard to detect as the attacks happen behind-the-scenes on the webpage. But there are certain websites that are at a greater risk than others. Cyber criminals are more likely to target small "mom and pop" e-commerce websites, as they lack the cybersecurity resources and IT infrastructure that large scale enterprises have.  But your best defense is to be aware of the website before entering your information. Check to make sure the website you’re buying stuff from follows basic security protocols and only transact with websites that have an SSL certificate (secure sockets layer). SSL is a method to encrypt any communication between you and the website, adding another protective element usually displayed with a padlock icon in the address bar. Another good method is to use a payment option like PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. These services have their own added security. As always, make sure your computer is running on the latest software update, update your password to a strong mix of letters, numbers and characters and never use the same password for multiple websites.

SOURCE: Better Homes and Gardens

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