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Why I Disagree

Why I Disagree

By Aaron (718 words) | Posted in Common Sense on October 04, 2014

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‘Tis the season for the experts to weigh in. Once again there was a major data breach, and experts all across the globe are sharing their pointers on how to stay protected. However, there is a lot of misinformation being spread, and I think it’s time to clarify. Let’s take five of the more popular pointers culled from MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and others, and separate the facts from the fiction. As an added bonus, I’ll throw in some RossBackup suggestions to help you stay protected.

1)      Using a Credit Card to shop is risky.

 FALSE    Every major credit card (and most debit cards) will cover any fraudulent charges placed on your account. You are 100% not liable as long as you report it. In many of these breaches, all you need to do is cancel the card, and there won’t be any issues. It’s safer than carrying cash, and easier than writing checks – additionally checks disclose more personal information!

 RossBackup Suggests:    Use a separate dedicated card for all in store purchases. This way if there is ever a data breach, you know immediately which card to cancel.


2)      Check your credit report and card transactions periodically.

TRUE     This is true whether or not there was a data breach. You should also get in the habit of reviewing your card purchases frequently to verify transactions.  It also does not hurt to check your credit report a few times a year.  You are allowed one free report a year, although that’s not really enough. If your card information is ever comprised by a data breach, there is a good chance you’ll get free monitoring for a while.

RossBackup Suggests:    Although credit monitoring is nice as a freebie, it’s not really necessary. Using information from the 3 major credit bureaus should be enough to keep an eye on your credit.

3)      Apple Pay will solve all these data breach problems.

 FALSE    There are way too many unknowns regarding Apple Pay for anyone to be able to say it will solve these security problems. Let’s remember, years ago it was unheard of for a store to have an online breach, but the hackers quickly learned what to do. It seems pretty farfetched to assume that Apple Pay will solve all of our problems.

 RossBackup Suggests:    You’re protected from fraud either way. Apple Pay does bring the convenience of using your phone to pay, nevertheless, many people will carry a wallet anyway. Time will tell how tough the security is, and how well you’ll be protected. Credit Cards are simple, don’t require a phone to work, and are fully protected.  For now, keep your cards with you. You never know.


4)      Be very wary when using your credit card to shop.

 FALSE    Isn’t that the whole purpose of using a credit card? When you pay with a check or cash, your options are extremely limited. Using a credit card is what protects us from fraud. Granted you should be vigilant that no one is taking a picture or copying your card information down (only allow swipes), but these cards are helping us.

 RossBackup Suggests:    Shop Away. Credit cards protect you if there is ever a fraudulent charge or even if the service or product is not working properly.


5)      Don’t share personal information

TRUE     Although many stores ask you to join their E-mail list, it carries inherent risks. Credit Card fraud is covered, however having your E-mail address stolen can lead to lots of spam. The only information a store has a right to ask you, is what your zip code is.  There is no need to give more information.

RossBackup Suggests:    If you really want to receive store e-mails, create an email address dedicated for it. Use this alternate address to sign up for all e-mail lists that you want.

To summarize, credit cards are useful and helpful. They protect us from fraud, and make our lives easier. As with everything in the world, it’s important to always be vigilant. The fact is, we live in a digital age. Unless you’re willing to disconnect yourself completely, online security is a fact of life.  Credit cards are the solution - not the problem. Whereas some people swear by PayPal, many can’t stand it.  I’m sure this will hold true for Apple Pay as well. For now, I’m sticking by my plastic.

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