It’s likely you have had a credit card issue at some point, with up to 47% of Americans impacted by credit card fraud. Whether your card is lost, stolen, counterfeit, “stolen” online, or whatever else criminals can come up with, VINSON offers the following tips to help protect your credit card information.
- As soon as your new card arrives, sign the back immediately – this protects you if the card somehow gets in someone else’s hands.
- Use credit, not debit, whenever possible – they provide better consumer protections.
- Never give out your social security number for purchases.
- Avoid showing your card number to others. As you check out in public, try to partially cover your information.
- Don’t do any online shopping in public. Public computers should never be used, and even your personal devices (whether on WiFi or not) can be hacked for the information you used.
- Don’t provide your card information over the phone unless you initiated the conversation and you are talking to an institution that you trust.
- Do not respond to emails asking for your account or personal information.
- Consider paperless statements – the less paper trail, the less opportunity for people to see your information.
- Check your information periodically to ensure it is up-to-date. If something does go awry, you want to be sure your financial institution can get in touch with you immediately.
- Review your billing statements for accuracy. For even better protection, compare your receipts to your billing statements.
- Equip your computer with a firewall.
- Don’t ignore those computer updates. Run them when prompted – they have the most up-to-date security features.
- Install security software, such as antivirus and/or anti-spyware.
- When online shopping, look for sites with “https:” in their addresses – the “s” stands for secured.
- Trust your website instinct. If it seems “off”, then don’t use it.
- Check businesses with the Better Business Bureau.
- Select strong and varied passwords – a good password is a complex combination of letters and numbers. And use different passwords for different sites/accounts.
- Check your account often. If you see fraudulent activity, contact your financial institution right away.
Photo: Andres Rueda via flickr.