Like the name implies, the "skimming" of credit card data is easy and quick, and it can allow criminals an easy way to make off with all the data they need to start victimizing customers. One hit can be all it takes to turn these consumers away from your small business for good. A safe and transparent credit card processing program can help reassure people of your business' strength and confidentiality.

The Attorney Journal of California recently published a report, featured in Infoworld, that disclosed information on more than 130 breaches observed in that state during 2012. This report mentions that 55 percent of these fraud events were "the result of intentional access to data by outsiders or by unauthorized insiders." Just as skimming can be perpetrated by an intruding hacker, it can also be conducted covertly by untrustworthy employees.

This is echoed in an article from Cardratings.com, in which author Gwendolyn Pearce details how this kind of fraud could happen under a consumer's nose, particularly in a restaurant.

"Aside from using cash, ask to be present where and when they swipe your card," Pearce advises spenders. "Yes, it's slightly awkward and the server may not be accustomed to the question, however, credit card theft is so common that no one will begrudge you being careful."

Chances are the savvy customer will keep this in mind, and if they detect possible signs of lax security where credit card payment processors are involved, they could steer clear of your business. Guard against this by being up-front about your card payment techniques and not keeping customers separate from their cards for too long.