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January 9th, 2020

5 Key Tips For Handling & Protecting Credit Card Account Information From Offenders

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According to the recent survey, it has been confirmed that more than 40% of people these days are facing many security concerns when they make payments using credit cards. Customers are highly concern about their credit card data security and this discourages them from using their payment cards while shopping. Thus, if businesses want their customers to make online payments, then they should be very conscious about safeguarding their customers’ credit card information. A business must implement all the advance security features while processing credit card transactions to ensure security for their customers.

No matter what type of business it is, a PCI compliant must be followed while handling card payment transactions. The main objective of PCI compliant is protecting account information from hackers and offenders by following standard approach for processing and storing transaction information.

1. Use only certified credit card processing terminals and software

No matter what type of software and terminals a business is using for credit card processing, they must be PCI compliant. Many business owners have a common belief that all the terminals and software that are available in the market for card processing are good and safe to use. But unfortunately, it is not true at all. Market these days is filled with devices and software that have security holes and are prone to vulnerabilities. Standard terminals and software always go through rigorous testing phase to ensure that they are completely safe to use for processing transactions. Such standard devices and software always come with certification marks in the market. Thus, businesses should always use certified devices and software for processing credit card transactions. Business owners can navigate through a PCI compliance website to gather information about certified terminals.

2. Approach only reliable and well reputed service provider

Businesses can also approach credit card service providers if they do not want to handle their credit card processing and account storage activities themselves. A business can approach web-based SaaS, IVR phone service or any private company for its payment processing and informant storage needs.

Before hiring such companies, businesses must ensure whether a company undergoes through an extensive testing phase or not. This is crucial to ensure the reliability of a company. The testing should be performed by QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) and must include comprehensive audit of all essential things like company’s policy, credit card processing procedures, terminals, software and all other related things. As per PCI compliance norms, businesses should approach only PCI DSS Validated service providers.

3. Try to prohibit the storage of electronic track data or credit card security number in forms

Businesses may have many reasons to store card processing information, but transaction processing regulations prohibit the visibility and storage of security number or tracked information that credit cards contain in their magnetic strips.

Card security number is usually a three or four digit number marked on the backside of the credit cards. The number is created with a purpose and helps businesses to know whether a payer has legal possession on the card or not. However, this security number should not be attached or stored with card number. Otherwise, this security feature will not work. This electronic process is actually very simple and there is no need to create a separate field for the security number.

But when it comes to paper storage, a business needs to redact the security number after successfully processing the payment transaction and before storing an authorization form. This paper based process is actually little complicated and time consuming process.

The tracked information stored in the magnetic strips of the card contains all data about accounts that are not demonstrated on the cards. This tracked information helps in verifying authorized transactions and at the same time, makes certain that payment cards are not fake or copied. However, businesses should know that many software and card readers can be used to store and make this tracked information visible by the offenders. This is the reason why businesses should not store the tracked information or security number purposely. However, in case of specific needs, businesses should always use certified software and hardware only in a standard manner.

4. Ensure the encryption of all credit card numbers and security of paper stored information

There are many situations when businesses want to store credit card numbers for future reference like proof of written authoritarian. Keeping or maintaining such records on paper documents is a very tricky and time consuming activity. Electronic storage, on the other hand, is the smart way to handle this tricky task effortlessly and effectively. However, businesses should never store this sensitive information in an unencrypted style. Robust and latest encryption algorithms should be applied to make such data encrypted and highly secure. This is very essential to safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access and all possible criminal activities.

The good thing is that there are many private companies available these days that include secure data storage facility in their payment processing services. Businesses can approach such companies if they do not want to handle data storage task themselves. These companies work by following advanced encryption technologies and data security features. The companies typically provide tokens for card numbers that businesses can store anywhere they want. At the time of payment processing, businesses simply need to send token number to retrieve card number details. This approach may look little complicated, but works wonderfully to make the data highly secure and protected. However, a business can expect full reliability by approaching a PCI DSS Verified provider only.

5. Phone recordings that contain credit card details must be stored encrypted form

Businesses that accept telephone orders always record calls for keeping evidence of payment authorization. But unfortunately, this credit card database is vulnerable to illegal and fraud activities. This digital data should be encrypted instantly and should be stored in a password protected database file. Also, there shouldn’t be any app or software attached to the storage device that is capable to transfer the password protected files to other devices in a readable form or that enables text-to-speech conversion of such files to users who can access the system.

The above mentioned points will surely help business owners in handling and safeguarding their credit card account information from offenders in a reliable and standard manner.

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