Did you know credit card fraudsters are becoming savvier in their tactics? Day and night, they are scheming and plotting new ways on how to defraud people. And with the help of technology, they have become a hydra monster.
Now, it may feel scarier, but you do not need to panic. Good news, it is very easy to protect yourself. And for the most part, you just need to apply good old fashioned common sense.
This article is going to show 7 ways you can keep your credit card safe.
1) Protect your card from day one
Like we have seen, by and large, safeguarding your credit card comes down to common sense. In light of this, when you receive your credit card, sign the back right away. This will protect you in case you lose your card or misplace it.
2) Create a strong password
After signing the back of your credit card, go ahead and create a strong password. Here, you need to create one that is complex and combines both letters and words.
Words of caution though, do not use family names, pet names or birthday dates to create your password. These passwords are usually soft targets for hacking.
On top of that, change your passwords periodically and avoid using the same password for all your bank accounts.
And finally, it goes without saying; do not store your PIN together with your card.
3) Keep your account number private and confidential
Imagine you are out in public and decide to organize your wallet. You put your credit card on the table and start arranging your things. For the most part, it may seem all innocent. However, credit card fraudsters are always on a prowl. They can easily pick up your account number and before you know it you are their next victim. Therefore, the onus is on you that no one sees your card while in public.
On top of that, be wary when giving out your account number over the phone. Especially, if you have not initiated the call.
So, when can you give out your account number? Only give out your account number when you have initiated the call. And this is only when you are talking to your bank or a trusted merchant.
4) Keep your contact information current
Anytime you move, change phone numbers or names inform your bank soonest. In this case, you may think as long as your credit card works and you have access to your online banking this is not necessary. However, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
For example, if you move to a new address, your statements will still go to your old address. And there is the possibility they may land in the wrong hands. It is, therefore, paramount to keep your bank in the loop when you change addresses.
Not to forget, when you change your phone number notify your bank asap. This way they will reach you quickly when they notice suspicious or fraudulent activities on your account.
5) Use a digital wallet
Did you know, you do not need to carry your wallet everywhere with you? It turns out, you can have a digital wallet on your smartphone.
So, what is a digital wallet? It is an e-wallet that enables you to do electronic transactions without carrying cash, a debit card or credit card. It stores these details electronically.
Now get this, if you make frequent credit card transactions you do not need to carry your card everywhere with you when you have a digital wallet.
You will be able to transact more safely since a digital wallet uses encryption, tokenization, and authentication to secure transactions. Therefore, the possibility of fraud is very minimal.
So, how do you keep your digital wallet safe? For starters, make sure your smartphone has a strong password and fingerprint access. And importantly, don’t forget to have an app that will help you find your phone in case it gets lost.
6) Protect yourself online
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is where most credit card fraud happens. And this being the case, you need to up your ante when it comes to online transactions. Here are a few ways to protect yourself:
- Do not store your credit card number online
For starters, never allow your browser to store your credit card number. Do this by turning off the auto fill function on your browser.
- Know your merchant
Whenever you are shopping online, only do business with merchants who have their address as “https”. The “s” stands for secure. To boot, make sure they have the green lock icon.
Also, be on the lookout to make sure the URL is the correct company name and not a close-but-not-correct version.
All in all, even on a secured site only share your information when you know how it is going to be used.
- Manually type every transaction
It may seem tiring to have to type out your credit card account every time you make a purchase. Particularly, when you shop online regularly. However, that is an inconvenience you will have to bear. And, when you come to think of it, it is a small price to pay to protect yourself.
Also, never have your credit card stored in an online shopping site.
- Add a layer of protection
At this point, you also need to consider using online payment systems or mobile payment services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Pay Pal Pay or Android Pay. This will cover you, incase in the unfortunate event a merchant is hacked.
- Do not use public wifi
Never check your credit card information over public wifi. Moreover, do not shop or transact anything on public wifi. The truth is your information can be viewed by anyone in the public network.
7) Report any suspicious activity or fraud immediately
The first thing to do when you lose your credit card or suspect fraudulent activity on your account is to contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately.
Once you have reported, the bank will then goes ahead and block your card and account and protect you from fraud.
It is paramount to understand, in this situation, speed is of the essence.
To sum it up, credit card fraud is here to stay. It is not going anywhere any time soon. It will keep evolving and advancing with the growth of technology.
However, this should not worry you. With these tips, you can keep safe and enjoy your credit card.