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Helping Staff Keep Your Credit Card Information Safe?

The company that owns Chili's restaurants recently announced that hackers stole cardholder names and credit and debit card numbers used by customers at some locations between March and April 2018.

A spokesperson said that the organization is still working to determine the scope of the data breach. It is also working with outside forensic experts to determine how hackers gained access to the data, although it suspects that the hackers used malware.

The spokesperson said that the hackers do not have access to customers' Social Security numbers, full dates of birth, or federal or state identification numbers because Chili's does not collect that information. Sarah Whitten "Malware attack at Chili's compromised some customers' credit and debit card information" (May 14, 2018).

Commentary and Checklist

Because identity theft and credit card fraud are widespread, family employers must take measures to keep their data secure. If you allow staff to use the financial accounts or cards for purchases, create policies and training to reduce your risk.

Have staff with purchasing power use credit and not debit cards. If an identity thief steals your debit card number, he or she could empty out your bank account. Conversely, many credit card companies have fraud protection policies that prevent you from having to pay for purchases made by thieves. Select a credit card company with strong fraud protection.

Family employers must check statements monthly for credit cards that staff members use to make sure that all purchases are authorized. Not only does this help you spot identity theft, but it also prevents staff from making unauthorized purchases.

If staff ever loses a credit card or believes a credit card number may have been compromised, immediately call the credit card company to cancel the card. Then, contact one of the three credit reporting agencies to place an initial fraud alert on your credit report.

If you ever receive a letter from an organization that your information may have been compromised in a data breach, accept the free identity theft protection, if it is offered. Follow other steps to protect your identity, such as placing a fraud alert or even a credit freeze with a credit reporting agency.

Train staff on the following best practices for keeping your credit card information secure:

  • Only carry work-issued credit cards when going to make a purchase. Keep them in a secure place, and never leave a purse or wallet unattended.
  • If possible, do not let credit cards out of your sight when paying for purchases.
  • Never send a credit card number in response to an email request. For that matter, never email a credit card number for any reason because email is not a secure means of communication.
  • Only use credit cards to make online purchases from well-known, reputable merchants. Make sure the site is encrypted before entering credit card information.
  • If a credit card is lost or stolen, or you realize that you might have entered a credit card number into an unsecured website, immediately notify your employer.
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