Tips to protect your credit and debit cards
Debit or credit card fraud is so common in today's world that just thinking about it can strike a fear. Thieves or hackers can strike your credit or debit cards remotely or in person very easily. Hence consumers need to carefully protect their cards however, many of them don't realize the importance of protecting and securing their cards. Consumers must ensure that information about their credit card do not fall in to the hands of hackers.
Here are few tips and ways to ensure to protect your credit and debit cards from unauthorized activities.
- Avoid providing any credit card information on non-secure websites - Although online shopping seems to be easy it comes with its own curse. Online shopping on unsecured website can increase the risk of releasing the credit card information. Use only reputable and secure websites for shopping as these websites are more secured than others.
- Use cash: If you think the shopping on particular website is not secure, just go for the 'cash on delivery' option (if applicable). This way you will not share your card information with third party and unsecured websites.
- Do not use your credit card information on social media: Now a days many people like to share their personal life on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Never post or share your credit card information over social media. I have seen some people sharing their bank account information on social media chat. Even though its a personal chat, your information is likely to get disclosed to public. So please avoid committing such silly mistakes.
- Do not give credit or debit card information over phone: Without knowing why and who is asking for your card information, never just give away such personal information. Always confirm if the call is from authorized person. If you have doubts about their credibility just avoid sharing the information at that time. Tell them you will call them back with the information. In the mean time you can research and confirm yourself if they genuinely need the credit card information.
- Check your monthly card statement: Don't just make the monthly payment of your credit cards without checking your monthly statement. Make sure you open your monthly statement, check and verify the amount. If you notice some unknown transaction, contact your card provider immediately.
- Secure your mobile devices and laptops: Make sure your laptops and desktops are free from malware. If your laptops or desktop are compromised your personal information will be easily accessible by the thieves / hackers. Stop using compromised laptops or desktop as soon as you realize that it contains malware.
- Never leave your credit or debit cards unattended at work, or even in your car: High proportion of credit or debit cards are stolen from your car and number of thieves are more at workplace than any other place. Always keep your wallet with you.
- Report your stolen or lost card immediately: Most of the fraudulent activity takes place within few days of their being lost or stolen. Hence report about your stolen / lost card to the card service provider.
- Sign the back of your cards immediately and destroy the unused card: Make small pieces of your unused card as soon as you get the new card. Destroy the unused card immediately so that no one else can use it later. Signature on the back of card helps a lot. If your card has been used by someone else, and vendors realize it they can ask the person to verify the signature. If the signature does not match it would most likely indicate that the person is not authorized to use this card and it belongs to someone else.
- Protect you PIN or Security code: Make sure that you regularly change your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and never store the PIN number in your phone or on paper. Also don't use easily guessable PIN number like your birth date, phone number, PAN card number, etc. Use some unique number that is not related to your personal life and hence not easily guessable. Also whenever you use your card in ATM be aware of people around you. Some thieves can memorize the card number and PIN from the buttons you push on ATM machine. Make sure you cover or block with your body throughout the process of using ATM.
These are few tips every one can easily implement into their personal life. These tips can help to secure your personal card information to some extent. However there are always some or the otherways hackers look for. You cannot control from getting hacked however can prevent to some extend.
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