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Secure your website if you take credit cards / Authenticating your customer’s identity
March 1, 2021
Secure your website if you take credit cards
          In January hackers accessed our website and began running credit card transactions.  We contacted Skybank and we were told that someone was running CC numbers and they were being declined and not to worry about it. We notified Skybank that our ability to have customers pay their bills via CC was shut down since we had so many failed transactions, over124,000 of them.  We were charged $21,000 for all of the transactions that were declined.
          Skybank reversed most of the charges and suggested we use a module called iSpyFraud, which charges us an additional $10.00 per month and $0.10 per transaction. 
          You should alert others that this can happen to them.
Name withheld
          Hacking is a nightmare.  Like the saying “for every burglar alarm there’s a burglar figuring out how to circumvent it”, well hackers are working non-stop to be annoying and sometimes worst, disruptive and causing immense financial ruin.  You have to take measures to secure your website if you are processing credit cards or just accumulating customer information.
          I guess the charges for excessive transactions which were declined are not much different than the charge we have in the Standard Form Agreements for excessive signals. 
Authenticating your customer’s identity
          Whether you are signing up a customer face to face, or over the Internet, you have the same problem when it comes time to enforce the contract and the customer claims, “it’s not me; I never signed this contract”. 
          What measures do you really have to take to stay within the realm of reasonable precaution?  Is copy of a driver’s license enough or do you need a DNA swab; a bunch of witnesses to the signature or a notary public? 
          The Standard Form Agreements called for social security numbers.  We received some push back.  The social security number is a unique number generally known only to the individual assigned the number, and it comes in handy if we are trying to enforce a judgment against your customer; helps identify assets. 
          On our Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communication our form asks for three items of personal information:  last four digits of social security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name.  It wouldn’t hurt adding this to the Standard Form Agreements.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301