When you first received your card containing the little gold chip you probably wondered, “what the heck is that for?” Shortly after, it most likely became something you didn’t even think about. Those little chips have a purpose and you’ve started to notice checking out of anywhere now takes a lot longer than it used to…all thanks to that card. So what is it for? Here’s everything you need to know about that little chip the slows you down but ultimately helps you in the long run.
1. Security > Convenience
You may be annoyed this little chip is causing your local grocery run to go from 11 minutes to 11 minutes 45 seconds and while yes your time is extremely valuable, it may not be more valuable than avoiding hackers. When you swipe your card (as opposed to clunkily inserting the chip side of your card into the machine) your actual card number is held onto by the retailer you’re shopping at. That’s how easy it is for hackers to have your information if they are able to hack into a retailer. With the new chip system, when you insert your chip it takes your account number and scrambles it into a different code that’s associated with your purchase. So if hackers ever made their way through the firewalls of a retailer, they have more difficulties accessing anyones account because they don’t have the actual card numbers.
2. Retailers At Risk
While many retailers have moved forward in the advances of protecting against hackers, some are still doing the traditional “card swipe”. For all retailers not using the chip system, if a hacker gets in; the liability is on the retailer for not utilizing the chip. For all locations who do use the chip system, if somehow the hackers get through; liability is not on the retailer but your financial institution. Overall it’s something for you the customer to be aware of, but not overly worry about.
3. It’s Not Perfect
While some businesses go to great lengths to protect themselves and their customers, not everything always runs smoothly. Hackers will always be around trying to scam you in multiple ways. Ever heard of Phishing, Vishing, and Smishing? For example, hackers will call you pretending to be a financial institution for a company in attempt to get you to reveal all of your personal information so they use it and can wreak havoc to your financial well being.
To safeguard yourself, here are a few basic tips: never buy something online unless the website is a HTTPS server – this will be protective of your card information and you can rest assured. Secondly, if someone calls you in a panic, claiming you need to divulge all of your personal information, ask for them to verify information with you so that you know exactly who you’re talking to.
By following these steps towards protecting your assets, and next time you get annoyed with the chip as you’re checking out – remember all the ways it’s protecting you.
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To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial Banks to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.
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