E-skimming happens when a thief inserts malicious information-stealing software into a retailer’s website. While you are checking out online with your credit or debit card, your payment information is being stolen from the shopping cart in real-time. The thief/hacker can then use your card to make purchases or can sell your information on the dark web for others to use.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from E-skimming:

Enable alerts on your credit cards

“Card Not Present” transaction alerts are one of your best defenses against E-skimming. This alert, sent by text or email, comes from your card issuer and lets you know anytime your card is used to make a purchase from a retailer without the card being physically presented (non-in-person purchase). As soon as the transaction is processed, an alert is issued. You can contact your bank immediately and stop the payment from going through, as well as close that card and order a new one.

Monitor Your Account

It is important that all consumers routinely check their bank and credit card statements to make sure there are only valid charges included. There is a limited time period for you to dispute any charges and avoid accepting responsibility for them even if there are invalid charges made because your information has been stolen.

Use trusted websites and look for “HTPPS”

Usually, the more trusted and secure the retailer, the more likely they are to have strong security protocols in place. However, even the big retailers have been hacked. Avoid sites you are not familiar with, no matter how great the advertised deals are.

Consider using only a low-limit credit card for online purchases

It can help reduce the amount of damage a thief/hacker can do if your card information is stolen online.

If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530.