millions of online shoppers can attest, it sure is
convenient to let websites store credit and debit card
numbers so the data can be "auto-filled " on
the next visit.
in a world plagued by hackers, storing that information
is an unnecessary risk, experts say.
though the data is supposed to be encrypted, "We do
know breaches occur," said Doug Johnson, senior
vice president of payments and cybersecurity at the
American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C.
advice is, if you donít have to put yourself in harmís
way by storing that information at a site, donít do
it. Take the extra time to put in the numbers each time
you conduct a transaction."
recent survey by Creditcards.com found that 2 out of 3
online shoppers ó or roughly 94 million Americans ó
have their card numbers stored on at least one website
or mobile app. And about 10 percent ó or 14 million
people ó say they always save their card information
online when they can.
definitely convenient, especially if you are a regular
at the site," said Matt Schulz, senior industry
analyst at Creditcards.com in Austin, Texas. But the
more places that payment information is stored, the
greater odds of becoming a victim of fraud, he said.
debit card numbers can be particularly problematic. By
law, banks have 10 days to give debit card holders
provisional credit for fraudulent purchases. Banks
generally reimburse accounts much quicker than that, but
however long it takes, customers are out the money. In
contrast, credit card holders donít pay anything for
also should keep in mind that saving card information
allows anyone who has access to the same computer (the
kids, for example) to make purchases with a click or
Creditcards.com survey found that the silent generation
ó those 72 years and older ó were twice as likely as
other age groups to store card data online.
was surprising because that generation has shown to be
the most reticent" about shopping online, Schulz
could be a matter of convenience. It also could be that
they might be a little less savvy when it comes to
shopping online and may not be as aware of some of the
X and baby boomers were the least likely to save their
card data, the survey found.
who decides that storing card numbers is worth the risk
should be extra vigilant about monitoring their accounts
for suspicious transactions, Johnson said.
are the one who can most easily catch an unauthorized