Many consumers are reluctant to give out personal information when making a purchase, as the availability of this data is one of the leading causes of identity theft and credit damage.
However, a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court would make it harder for credit card thieves to tap into company databases where this information is stored.
Under the decision, retailers would be prohibited from asking consumers to supply their ZIP codes and barred from storing this information. However, it would be allowed in some instances such as in gas station transactions and during bank deposits.
Recent research has shown these databases can be a hotspot for hackers who will then either use the information to gain access to a consumer's bank account, or simply sell the information online where it can be attained for as little as $20.
However, consumers can catch the signs of this theft if they check their credit reports regularly. By examining these documents for unauthorized purchases, and contacting a credit repair company, consumers could increase their chances of identifying and disputing questionable charges resulting from a compromised account.