What Not To Do With Your Credit Card Info Online

At Nicely Done Sites we like to get paid for the work that we put into a project, As a business owner you want to as well. At least we assume that you do, stop us if you don’t. In today’s society more payments are being made by credit card than cash and everyone it seems has one or more cards in their wallet. Because of this, some people have begun doing some very stupid things with their credit card information and chief among them is posting pictures of their credit card online.

There Are Valid Reasons To Photograph Your Card

We’ll get this out of the way right now, there are legitimate reasons to take a photograph of your card, both front and back. Experts recommend that you do this when traveling abroad and it is needed when a card is linked to a digital wallet. These people may have images and open themselves up to being hacked but they are probably not posting a picture online. Of course there are also many people who don’t want to carry their card with them but want to have all of the purchasing power that it brings. If you are doing the latter, you need to tread carefully.

Now, we’ve been over making sure that when you purchase something online that you need to use a secure HTTPS website. If not, your information is not encrypted and it can be easily intercepted. That is part of the selling point for the use of a digital wallet, which uses tokenization to secure the information.

It Sounds Like Common Sense But Don’t Post A Picture Of Your Card Online

Despite this, a trend has evolved in recent years posting a picture of their credit card on social media pages. These people may want to show off a cool new design on their card, or maybe just show off their first card to their friends. This is extremely stupid, there is no need to mince words over that. Even if the picture does not show the back with the signature strip and the CVV number the information on front is still extremely valuable to identity thieves.

If you look at most social media accounts people have friended or follow many people that they do not know well or may have never met at all. Would you trust a stranger or someone that you never met with some of your most personal information? Probably not. That caution has not stopped people from giving their card information and other personal information freely over the phone in crowded locations but it should stop people from posting pictures of their card information (or checking account information for that matter) on the Internet.

Images Are Forever

Remember, once an image is on the Internet it is there forever. You might delete the image once you realize your mistake but that image is saved and archived. If you post an image to Facebook or Instagram do you think it will be permanently deleted when you delete it? Removing an image from the Internet is not easy, in fact it is pretty darn hard so don’t let the genie out of the bottle to begin with. A less than scrupulous individual may have also already taken that picture and the damage is done. They have your information to use themselves or to sell on the Dark Web.

Think About What Is In Your Photos

It does not even have to be intentional. Many people take photos at a restaurant or local drinking establishment. It is very easy to miss the fact that your credit card is sitting in plain view as you take that group photo before settling up the bill for the evening.  

Avoid Chats And Text Messages Too

It is very easy when it comes time to make a payment to send a picture of that card or the card’s information in a text or chat message. This should be avoided at all costs. Text messages are not encrypted and if your carrier says they are encrypted that only covers from the phone to the cell tower. Those messages are stored in your carrier’s database in an unencrypted form and can be read by anyone with sufficient access to that file. 

Chat messages should also be avoided. While there is some encryption present in chats to prevent eavesdropping and chats can be set up to only be between two parties there are plenty of other reasons to avoid this. First, if you lose any device that has access to that chat (phone, tablet, laptop…) someone can potentially pull it up and read it. No amount of encryption will stop this. Second, anyone who has access to that device will also be able to view that information. Last, those images are saved in chats and those chats are archived. That information will be there forever for anyone who has access to those files to view.

Be Safe

At Nicely Done Sites, we like to get paid for our work (I think we’ve mentioned that before) but we also want our customers and our friends to exercise good judgement and protect themselves. This is something that should be stressed to children who are getting their first card or even younger adults that are hacking it out there in the wild for the first time. Heck, it should be stressed to older adults too. Sometimes exuberance and convenience gets in the way of common sense and if that happens the results can be devastating.

Don’t let yourself be a victim. Don’t post pictures of your credit card on the Internet. Don’t text your credit card information and don’t post that information in a chat. It sounds so simple to do, but some common sense can save you a lot of aggravation and money.

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