At this point your personal credit should be locked down pretty tightly. With your credit report in hand, you have reasonable certainty that your credit has not been stolen. With a credit freeze initiated, you don’t have to worry about anyone opening new lines of credit in your name. However, these previous techniques do nothing to protect your existing accounts, so it is still important to protect your credit card numbers. Today, you should set yourself up to use private payment methods.
Active Time: 10 minutes to set up an account; 2 additional minutes when making a purchase
What it Protects You From: Credit card number theft
Use Private Payment Methods
There are several options for private payments. If you are making a purchase in-person, you can always use cash. Things are a bit more complicated when making online purchases or setting up recurring payments for bills.
Pay With Privacy/Privacy.com: I have written about Privacy.com before, and my co-author and I interviewed Privacy.com’s CEO on the Complete Privacy & Security Podcast. In my opinion this is the best option for things that require a recurring payment. You can set weekly, monthly, yearly or per-transaction charge limits, and these cards work internationally. Privacy.com draws directly from your bank account rather than from a credit card which I also consider to be a benefit.
Blur: I have also written about Blur previously, and interviewed Blur’s CTO. Blur creates credit card numbers and charges from your credit card. Creating Blur masked cards requires you to have a premium account, and charges a small fee for each card created. However, This
Sudo Pay: This is the newest such service that I am aware of and I have not yet written about it (though Michael and I did interview Steve Shillingford, Sudo’s CEO). Sudo Pay draws funds from your Apple Pay account. You can fund your Apple Pay account with a credit or debit card. Though there is a usage fee for each Sudo Pay card you create, it offers excellent privacy because it cuts your creditor and Apple out of the transaction loop, and Sudo has access to only minimal records of you purchases. Currently Sudo Pay is only available for iOS devices, but Android and web versions should be available soon.
I recommend, at a minimum, setting up a Privacy.com account, and if you have an iOS device, I also recommend that you set up a Sudo Pay account. Both of these services are free, and having both gives you options. Once your accounts are set up, begin using them. When you log in to pay your phone bill, utilities, or other bills, change your payment method to a Pay With Privacy card. Once you have done this, delete your real card from your payment options. This ensures that if your account is compromised your credit information will still be safe.