The Willis Report: Protect yourself from credit hackers - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

The Willis Report: Protect yourself from credit hackers

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network


The Target breach of credit card numbers and other private information of as many as 110 million customers has just about everyone on edge. Already two people have been arrested in connection with the hacking of customer data that began last Black Friday, but we still have a long way to go in determining exactly how the breach happened.

Protecting yourself from such trouble isn't simple. First off, some sources say that more chains were hit. So simply not going back to Target to shop isn't a solution.

Here are my best ideas for protecting yourself from credit hackers:

Consider using cash. The reality is that in the second or so it takes a credit card transaction to take place, your information switches hands a dozen times you're your bank to the store's bank, but also to middlemen like card processors. That's a lot of opportunity for trouble. Using cash today will protect yourself from hackers this moment, but won't do anything to reduce the likelihood that your information has already been compromised.

Ditch the debit card, for now. Your least protected card in your wallet is your debit card. Look, if bad guys grab your credit card number and go on shopping field day, you can contest those transactions and your liability is capped at $50. (Many card issuers don't even make you pay that much). The rules are more strict with debit cards . Debit card liability is capped at $50 unless you fail to report fraud within two days, and then your liability jumps to $500. Miss the deadline for a couple of months and you have no protection. Remember, a debit card is a call on your personal checking account. Credit card transactions, on the other hand, are made with the bank's money.

Check your credit card statements routinely online - as often as every single day. That's what one of my experts told me on The Willis Report. And, it makes sense. You want to be aware of fraud as soon as it happens. Checking everyday means that you'll want to have as few cards as possible. After all, who wants to have to troll online through 15 different websites?

Fraud protections services, in my view, are really too little, too late. Target is offering this sort of benefits to customers, but it's only useful in finding out a theft that has already occurred.

If you were a Target shopper this holiday season, take special care in responding to any offers or requests for information. Already, some scammers have started contacting consumers, pretending to be bank representatives and asking for information. If someone contacts you asking for personal data, hang up the phone and call your bank directly.

At the end of the day, your money can be replaced, but the real item you want to protect is your personal identity because when that is stolen it can cause headaches for years to come.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • Goldman in deal worth $1.2B over US bond claims

    Goldman in deal worth $1.2B over US bond claims

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:04:45 GMT
    Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $3.15 billion to resolve claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.
    Goldman Sachs has agreed to a settlement worth $1.2 billion to resolve claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed...
  • Gov't warns US retailers about hacking software

    Gov't warns US retailers about hacking software

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:55:20 GMT
    The Homeland Security Department is warning that more than 1,000 retailers could have a new malicious software program lurking in their cash registers that allows computer hackers to steal financial data about...
    More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.
  • Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks

    Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:38:10 GMT
    A Gaza health official says two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli airstrike as fighting continued for a third day after the collapse of Egyptian-led cease-fire talks.
    Gaza militants Friday gunned down 18 alleged spies for Israel in an apparent attempt to plug security breaches and deter others, a day after Israel killed three top Hamas military commanders in an airstrike likely guided...
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices