The Scam: With the growing amount of information stored and transmitted digitally by banks, credit card companies and other third parties, there are more loopholes for a clever hacker to exploit. The recent Global Payments breach that affected Visa and MasterCard customers is just the most recent. In the past, banks, merchants and even online gaming platforms have been broken into. What’s more, with the rise of “hactivism” as a form of protest, personal data is collateral damage.
Avoid It By: Unfortunately, there’s not much most of us can do to prevent this. We depend on the companies with which we do business — and the companies they do business with — to keep our data safe. Since one item often stolen is passwords, create different passwords for your online banking, shopping and so on. This at least keeps a one-time breach from snowballing.