Fortnum & Mason in credit card data breach
The 'Queen's favourite grocer', Fortum and Mason, is in the news today for breaching of credit card data security standards.
Customers are in uproar having been asked to email the retailer their credit card details in order to receive a refund on Christmas hampers that have yet to be sent. The email said "[Fortnum] will require your card details to arrange a refund (type of card, name of the card, long number, expiry date, security number)."
One customer, who is still waiting for a Christmas hamper ordered back in November, refused to give the details for fear of credit card fraud.
They received a reply from a Fortnum customer service employee saying: "I understand you do not want to give out your details however, we do not keep them on file due to security reasons, the only way I can refund you is if I do have them. We will instantly destroy your details as soon as you are refunded."
UK data security standards forbid companies from requesting consumers' full credit card details via unsecured emails because such requests could allow fraudsters to create cloned credit cards.
Online security is increasingly important as fraudsters use increasingly sophisticated ways of tricking us out of money and sensitive information. In addition to making sure you only ever communicate information or data via a secure connection, here’re some of our tips to avoid being hacked:
1. Change your passwords regularly - the longer and more obscure, the better
2. Leave a website if you notice strange behaviour (unknown certificates, pop-ups etc.)
3. Avoid transmitting sensitive data over public (free or otherwise) Wi-Fi
4. When seeking Wi-Fi connections: know who you are connecting to, be wary of free Wi-Fi access
5. If using a smartphone: disable Wi-Fi ‘auto-connect’
6. If you are concerned about identity fraud, consider purchasing an identity fraud protection product to help you detect, prevent and resolve any incidence of the fraud.
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