Protect Your Credit Card Information From Cybercriminals

Modern technology has highlighted the fact that cybercriminals are everywhere. Cybercriminals implement a variety of hacking methods to deceitfully uncover credit card information. Creating awareness on the methods that cybercriminals use to hack and collect information that harm people, is  key reason for implementing proactive security measures to prevent falling victim. We know the value of protecting your private information and we offer our assistance by creating awareness.

Cybersecurity has always been a crucial part of our everyday lives with the growth in e-commerce and online purchasing, now more than ever we are forced to be more aware of situations that may arise or, that we might be exposed to. Hackers aim to access your private information through innovative methods, extracting your credit card information is their dominant tendency. Credit card information theft negatively influences not only your finances but also your personal identity and privacy as well. Effectively protect your credit cards and connected data with our tailored security solutions.

We aim to create awareness especially for our clients to ensure their full protection, by revealing and exposing different methods that cybercriminals can use to steal your credit card information you can decrease your chances of falling vulnerable. By limiting your chances through expanding your knowledge, we take further steps to ensure your protection by implementing new methods that prevent you falling victim to cybercriminals, and mitigate attacks in the event that it does happen to you, unexpectedly or unknowingly.

6 Familiar methods of credit card information theft.

An assortment of methods are used to steal card information, it is vital to stay secure both online and offline1. .

  1. Phishing

Websites have the ability to steal your credit card information.

Hackers impersonate trusted sources to steal your private information. Common forms include suspicious phone calls, fake websites and false sales emails.

What you can do: The best prevention method against phishing scams is to never give out your personal information over the phone during any call, especially to institutions that are requesting it, rather go directly to the retail or financial website or the physical store to provide them with your information. Securely do transactions directly either in person or by manually going to the website to enhance your personal protection. Do not click on site links in emails that are not originally from the institution, as they take you to fake sites that steal your private information. Authenticate all emails from your institution, as cybercriminals create false emails asking for private details and think twice before sharing confidential information.  

2. Malware and spyware

Be mindful when you download anything from the internet and over any network.

Accidental malicious file downloading enables hackers to access your private information almost instantly. Hackers hide behind encrypted files that monitor and collects data on your devices, sometimes unknowingly.  

What you can do: Take caution when you download attachments from emails, websites or applications unless they are verified. Install secure antivirus and mail scanning software on your devices to scan and authenticate your downloads and to prevent malware.

3. Skimming

Hackers use a popular method at point of sale machines that is offline to steal your credit card information that leads to identity theft.

Tampered machines: ATM machines and card machines at points of sale can be tampered with in public spaces. Phony card readers are integrated into ATMs and card machines to digitally read your credit card information and send the information to the hackers. The hackers are able to clone your card and use it as you.

What you can do:  Protect your physical and cyber you by inspecting public machines for any malicious signs. Prevent using a machine if you feel it is tampered with. If a card reader looks faulty or like it has been tampered with use another ATM. Contact the institution to replace the faulty machine, to protect more people from falling victim.

RFID skimming: Chip scanning through radio frequencies has become a new method of card information stealing. RFID skimming is based on near field communication devices that access and copy your information; that is not encrypted. This form of scanning steals your card details such as the name on the card, the expiration date and card numbers.

What to do:  Ensure that adequate safeguarding measures are in place in your financial institution, by verifying them with your institution. Implement extra encryption abilities to safeguard your private information, such as two-step verification that is based on biometrics or extra authentication methods to authenticate the user.

Shoulder skimming: A skimming method that does not use technology is shoulder skimming, this form of skimming is when hackers steal your passwords and card information by spying on you. They steal your information either by looking over your shoulder or through binoculars.

What you can do: Protect your physical you by covering the keypad and screen with your hand, a paper or your body to prevent hackers from seeing your personal or sensitive information.

4. Data breaches

Online data storage has become popular and the negative impact has been data-breaches that commonly occur on a regular basis. Online data storage has created a new pathway for hackers to gain access to your private data that includes credit card information, financial information and personal information. It has been statistically proven that data breaches have increased “According to Statista, the 1,473 data breaches in the U.S. in 2019 led to the exposure of nearly 165 million personal data records, a trend that showed no signs of slowing down in 2020.”(Phillips, 2021), the statistics have showcased a consensus in danger.

What you can do: Minimize your possibility of becoming a victim by limiting the personal information you save online such as on websites and in payment portals. In the event that you do become a victim start by freezing your cards, place fraud alerts on your account and replace the affected card. Regularly download or print copies of your credit reports or statements and vigilantly look out for any suspicious activity.  

5. Public Wi-Fi networks

Public Wi-Fi networks are usually unsecured, making it an effective pathway for hackers to gain private information. It is recommended to not share private information across open networks. Public networks are not always what they seem to be. Public networks could be imposter networks that steal your private information. Not all public networks are realistic, meaning that connecting to open networks can drastically increase your vulnerability to a hacking attack. Rather use mobile data to conduct sensitive business than to connect to an unsecure network.

What you can do: Implement the use of a VPN on all public networks. Limit or prevent doing sensitive business on public networks. Encrypt your devices with trusted, authenticated and tailored security solutions.

Protect yourself by educating yourself. “Being aware of the methods they use to steal personal information- credit card data, in particular, but also other details that can lead to, among other things, identity theft – is the first step towards yourself.” (Phillips 2021).

6. Your trash

Physical information theft is still a relevant hacking solution, it is an old-fashioned solution that hackers still revert to, to this day. Hackers or informal recyclers look through your garbage to obtain your private information in the form of printed documents and use it to their advantage.

What you can do: Do not request anything in the mail, receive it online only and access it through your ID number. In the event of receiving your statements physically remember to shred them before you throw them away.

Best practise to guard credit card data

There are multiple methods on how cybercriminals gain access to your credit card information. Gain knowledge on different methods to protect your private information

  • Monitor your credit reports

Implement software on your devices that enables automated checking and scanning of credit card statements. Uncover fraud in your statements at a faster and more effective pace.

  • Monitor bank statement or account statements for suspicious activity

Uncover suspicious activity through extensive monitoring of all your purchase statements. Check different credit bureaus for unknown purchases made to your accounts.  

  • Get notified immediately

Extensive monitoring with accurate alerts lead to complete control. Protect your private information and credit cards from fraudulent activities with instant alerts from your banking app or financial institution.

  • Antivirus and VPN software

Protect your information with the secure implementation of a VPN when using public networks. Protect your devices from spyware or viruses with an effective installation of antivirus solutions, to prevent downloading harmful malware.

  • Check for secure website URL’s

Verify every website you visit by looking for symbols, find a lock before a URL to know that the website is encrypted with secure SSL certificates. If the URL includes https:// you can access the website ensuring it is secure and safe to use.

  • Do not save private information online

Never save your credit card or private information on a website or browser, hackers will access that data in the event of data breaches. Do not fall for temptation that can harm you, no matter how convenient it is to store personal data online, it is not recommended to do so.

  • Two-factor authentication

Encrypt your private data, applications and login details with strong passwords to avoid falling victim to data-breaches. Use strong innovative passwords that combine numbers, symbols and letters. Incorporate two-factor authentication into your login processes to enable accurate authentication of your person and increase security of multiple layers.

  • Do not write sensitive information down

Never write personal information such as credit card details on paper. Prevent taking pictures of your credit card to prevent hackers from accessing it. Do not mail any private information as mail can get lost or seen by the wrong personnel.  

What to do if your information is stolen

Taking fast and effective action in credit card theft is the best response. Nothing is completely effective but prevention is the best action. Following best practices can decrease your chances of having your credit card information stolen but in the event of it occurring you can do this:

  • Contact your financial institution

Avoid being liable for fraud purchases by contacting your financial institution immediately when you suspect credit card theft or that your card has been compromised. Your card will be blocked and a new one will be issued later on.

  • Update passwords

Regularly update your passwords to heighten your preventative measures. Hackers infiltrate multiple online platforms to gain personal information, therefore with regular password updates you have less chance of being hacked.

  • Extensive statement monitoring

Manually monitor credit card statements even when the card is cancelled, to uncover any suspicious transactions. Immediately dispute any transactions that are suspicious or were not performed by you.

Credit cards will remain the soft and frequent target for cybercriminals. Creating awareness on the methods that cybercriminals use to gain credit card information is the first step to protecting oneself from falling victim. Awareness leads to more advanced security implementations. Incorporate effective practices against credit card theft and have the knowledge on what to do if your cards have been compromised.

Avoid falling victim to credit card theft or identity theft with secure and effective security solutions that Secured Enterprise can integrate into your devices and tailor to meet your business needs. Secure your business with tailored solutions that protect your private information on multiple levels, such as Identity threat detection and prevention and access control management solutions. Protect your personal reputation with security solutions that value the security of your private and sensitive information. Do not have your credit record compromised with accessible and efficient security solutions,

This article is an adapted version of a post by TechTarget.


Phillips, A. (2021). ‘How do cybercriminals steal credit card information?’ TechTarget, 19 February. Available at: (Accessed on: 22 February 2021).