Credit cards have become a necessity in today’s digital world since it helps us build a good credit score as well as let us streamline our online transactions. However, with their rise in popularity, credit cards have become a prime target for fraudsters—with many credit card users falling victim to their scams. That being said, securing your credit card details is crucial to prevent unauthorized charges and protect you from various scams such as phishing, skimming, and identity theft.
Here are six tips to help ensure the safety of your credit card information.
Protect Your Card Information
It’s imperative that you keep a close eye on your credit card details. A good rule of thumb is to never share your credit card credentials with anyone, unless you’re certain of their identity and their need for the information. Your bank will never call or send you an email asking for your credit card details. If you receive these types of requests, they’re likely made by scammers. It’s better to ignore these requests and inform your bank.
Moreover, you should be cautious when inputting your credit card details online. Hackers are known to create unsecure websites that steal your information. If you want to make sure that the website is secure, look for the padlock symbol and “https://” in the website’s URL. These indicate that the website uses encryption that can protect your data.
Monitor Your Account Regularly
Checking your credit card account regularly is an effective way to detect fraudulent activities. It’s also one of the easiest methods because banks have apps that allow you to access your account using your smart devices, allowing you to check your account in real-time. These apps are a convenient way to stay up to date with your account and spot any suspicious activity immediately and quickly report it to your bank.
Strengthen Your Credit Card’s Online Security
If you aren’t careful when conducting banking or making transactions online, your credit card details can be left vulnerable to online fraud. That’s why strengthening your online security is crucial to keeping your banking credentials secure. There are several ways you can do this and using more than one type of security measure is advised.
One example is using a strong and unique banking password for your online bank account. Oftentimes, people use their birthdays and names, but these types of information are easily guessable. It’s better to use a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters to make the password more difficult to figure out. It’s also advisable not to reuse passwords across different websites.
Another example is using two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever you’re accessing your account or making an online purchase. 2FA provides you with an additional layer of online security that involves a second step of verification after entering your password or checking out the items in your online cart. Typically, a unique code or one-time password (OTP) is sent to your mobile device, which must be entered into the login screen or checkout details page before the transaction is authorized. With 2FA, it’ll be harder for fraudsters to access your account and make unauthorized transactions.
Moreover, you can also make good use of your bank’s online and mobile security features. Some common examples include turning on the fingerprint or face ID login option, mobile key creation, and login notification emails.
Shred Documents That Contain Any Credit Card Information
Documents that contain your credit information can’t just be simply thrown away. They must be disposed of properly and thoroughly to ensure that all the details are destroyed. It’s a good idea to use a shredder when disposing of these documents to make the information more difficult to piece together.
Inspect the ATM Machine or Credit Card Reader
Credit card skimming is a fraudulent act where bad actors fit a skimming device on an ATM or credit card reader to steal sensitive credit card information like your name, credit card number, and expiration date. This device sits flush with the machine so it’s a little bit difficult to detect. However, you can still spot one if you carefully examine the machine first before using it.
The first thing you want to do is inspect the device’s color scheme. The skimming device may have a different color that doesn’t match the ATM’s or card reader’s theme. If something looks off, do not insert your card into the reader. Next, check if the machine or reader has been tampered with. You want to look for a damaged panel or loose card reader and keypad. If the ATM or card reader shows any of these signs, it’s best not to use the machine and inform the bank about it.
Make Sure Your Physical Card Is Safe
While digital security is paramount, you shouldn’t forget to secure your actual physical card. It’s always a good idea to keep your card in a safe place, like your wallet or card holder, and never leave it unattended. You should also only take your credit card out when making transactions and always keep it on you at all times. Additionally, you should remember to collect your card immediately after making a purchase to avoid giving anyone else a chance to take it from you.
Your credit card is a valuable asset so its protection should be a priority. By incorporating these tips into your online banking and purchasing routines, you can effectively safeguard your credit card details and stay one step ahead of potential fraudsters.