With the development of technology and the modernization of business and almost every other aspect of life, people seem to have stopped using cash completely. You can pay for almost everything with your credit card, from your meals at restaurants and groceries at stores, to online shopping items. Now, since robbing you on the street has lost its point as you don’t carry cash around, but instead you carry cards, a new type of crime, credit card fraud, has developed. This article will provide 7 tips that may help you avoid credit card fraud and keep your money safe.
1. Don’t respond to emails that ask for your credit card details. Your official bank will never ask you to write your details via email, so even If the email seems official- don’t risk it. It’s probably someone trying to scam you, get your information and take all your money. This gets even worse if your card has a large overdraft- in that case the scammer can not only take all your money, but also put you in debt that you may end up paying for a long time.
2. Never write your card number on an unsecured website. If a website uses ‘http’ instead of ‘https’, don’t trust it. This extra ‘s’ may seem insignificant, but it actually indicates that the site uses a system that will protect your information. Be especially careful if the site doesn’t have a certification from one of the trusted companies, such as VeriSign. Truth be told, the extra ‘s’ and the certification are not a 100% guarantee that you won’t be scammed, but they do provide more safety than the sites without these characteristics.
3. Make sure that your antivirus is up to date. If you don’t have an antivirus or you do but it is out of date, your computer and all your data are at risk of security breaches. Therefore, it is very important that you keep it updated and that your network firewall is turned on at all times. This shouldn’t be too complicated even if you don’t know much about technology, as software of this type usually updates automatically.
4. Come up with a strong password. Don’t go with something obvious and easy to figure out, like ‘123456’ or ‘abc123’. That way you will just make it easier for a hacker to steal your data and money. Letters in both uppercase and lowercase combined with numbers and punctuation signs should do the trick. Also, use different passwords for different accounts, so if one account is breached- not all of them will be.
5. Don’t let other people see your pin number. When shopping in stores and paying for your purchase with your card, you often need to type in your pin number into the card machine. By no means tell your cashier your pin number just so you don’t have to type it in yourself. Don’t be so lazy. If other people know your pin, it’s very easy for them to take all your money if they just take your card. Also, when typing in your pin, try to make sure you are the only one who sees it.
6. Review your account activity. This is an important action for the safety of your credit card, and it doesn’t require much time. You can do it online, over the phone, or you can check it personally at your bank. This way, even if some type of fraud happens, you will find out in time and be able to solve the problem.
7. If your card has been stolen, don’t wait to report it. This also applies to losing your card. As soon as you notice that your card is not where you usually keep it, and you are not able to find it anywhere, report it to your bank. The bank will block your card and account, so the person who found it or stole it won’t be able to use it. You will have to pay some fee to the bank, but it’s better to pay a small amount of money to them than have all your money spent by some thief.