How to Grinch-proof your customers’ data this holiday season

Nov 28, 2012
How to Grinch-proof your customers’ data this holiday season
MGM Television

When you ring up a sale, customers entrust you with their personal data - from credit card numbers to home addresses to driver’s license information.

And whether those purchases are made at the cash register or on the Internet, merchants have an obligation to protect consumers from crimes leading to identity theft. Particularly vulnerable are small retailers. They represent more than 90 percent of all data breaches investigated by Visa.

So just how safe is the data accumulated by your company? How can you beef up your existing security strategies? Two Visa representatives will share their advice in a SCORE webinar at 2 p.m.(EST) Dec. 6. Aureliano Islas is a risk associate on Visa’s cyber-security and investigation team; Stan Hui serves as program manager for America’s Payment System Security.

“Secure Commerce: Data Security Essentials Every Small Business Should Know” will offer tips such as the ones published in Visa’s 2010 “Data Security: Tips and Tools for Small Merchant Businesses”:

  • Unless you absolutely need it to operate your business, don’t keep a cardholder’s full account number on file.
  • Make sure that vendors who have access to your business computers (such as IT consultants)are using secure methods to protect customer data.
  • Install a firewall and a virus-protection program on your system. Update regularly.
  • Program your terminal to display only the last four digits of a credit card – and to hide the expiration date.
  • Use an approved scan vendor to perform network vulnerability scans on your Internet connection. Your merchant processor can recommend one.
  • Establish a unique username and password for each employee who has access to customer data.

To register, click here.