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How to keep your data safe online

When you buy something online do you still prefer using your credit card than your debit card? That’s probably because of safeguards in place like the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that allows customers to claim money back from their credit card issuer if the company you bought from take your money but cease trading before issuing your goods. If your credit card information is stolen, you can claim back any money spent on it after you report the card stolen however card issuers aren’t so lenient if you lose your debit card.

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Lost debit card

If you lose your debit card, you’re liable for the first £50 of any disputed transaction if the card issuers deem that you were negligent. If you failed to take reasonable measures to safeguard your card or it’s PIN, they can penalise you by making you responsible for the full amount spent by the thieves.

Fraudulent online transactions

Fraudulent transactions amount to £1.2 million a day in the UK alone. Not all of that’s lost online but a fair enough chunk of change is stolen every day. You’ll lose your rights to reclaim that money if you didn’t use the card provider's 3D Secure system when you bought online, so don’t voluntarily compromise your security when you shop online. That’s a very simple way for you to keep your data safe online.

Card not present fraud

Card not present fraud is the term used by the banks to describe the type of card theft you could fall victim to online. According to the Lending Code, the consumer isn’t liable for the debt if the card’s details were stolen without the cardholder's knowledge. That’s good news for anyone who shops online but doesn’t rely on the law to safeguard your important financial information.

How to secure your information online

We’ve demonstrated that you have to be vigilant when you shop online in order to satisfy the card issuer’s requirements so the onus is on you to begin with. Being mindful of phishing scams when you open an Email or read a text message that sounds too good to be true is another thing you can do. If you have a text or Email from a company suggesting a refund or a prize will come your way by clicking a link, head to the official site through your browser and check for yourself. If you find that the message was a phishing scam, send it to the company concerned who will use that information to help protect other customers from the scammers.

In conclusion

You should also take the following steps to protect any data you have stored on a smartphone or PC. Encrypting your data isn’t just for those with massive computer knowhow. If you have a Mac, you can use FileVaultto secure your data. Microsoft users have the BitLockerprogram available to them. Each scramble a user’s data to add a layer of protection that most users don’t bother with. Anti-malware is a form of data protection that’s vital for all users. It can come with an annual charge but it’s well worth the money because your computer will be protected from malicious software.

Make sure your computer is up to date as operating system updates contain critical security patches. If you set your system to update automatically, you can leave it to run. By far the simplest way of safeguarding information you don’t want to be lost but data that’s not sensitive is to back it up. This form of data protection is often overlooked but it’s the most basic and best way of making sure you always have the important files you need if your computer is attacked by a virus.

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