Owning a credit card makes living in modern society more convenient. It gives you access to a particular amount of money that you can ‘borrow’ to pay for your purchases (assigned to you by the credit card company) that you can pay at a later date (usually a month after your cutoff date). Once you are approved for a new card, you have to remember to keep your credit card safe.
Credit cards make shopping both offline and online very easy. However, as years go by, unscrupulous people have devised ways on how to take hold of the credit card information of unsuspecting people and use it for their own purchases. Credit card fraud has become a very lucrative business for online fraudsters as years go by and law enforcement agencies around the world are working very hard in ensuring the safety of the masses from these kinds of fraudulent activities.
Here’s a link to the statistics of credit card fraud that happened from 2014 up to 2019 wherein you’ll notice an upward trend. Credit card fraud is becoming more and more prevalent as years go by and it’ a must for every credit card owner to ensure the safety of their own credit cards to prevent being victimized.
Here are 10 important guidelines we as credit card owners should keep in mind to keep our credit cards safe.
Sign Up for SMS/Email Notification
Almost all credit card companies nowadays have this kind of service wherein the owner of their credit card will receive an email or an SMS whenever they use their credit cards. The best thing about this service is that it’s FREE. If you are not receiving SMS or email regarding your credit card purchases, call your bank to confirm if they have this service and to check if it’s activated in your account (usually it’s automatically activated for their customers).
Also, make sure that your personal information with your bank are all updated to ensure that you receive timely messages.
Download the Credit Card App
Downloading the app of your credit card companies make monitoring your purchases very easy. Most credit card apps nowadays require the users’ fingerprints to minimize your time in logging in. Please take note though that this feature is dependent on the users’ type of phone. If your phone has a fingerprint scanner then this will definitely work with the app.
Avoid Making Online Purchases in Public Places
As much as possible, avoid making online purchases outside your home or offices to ensure that you are only transacting using a secured wireless connection. If unavoidable, like when someone is traveling, try to do it in a location with fewer people and in places that have secured internet connections such as co-working spaces.
It will also be more helpful if you check from time to time your credit card transactions using your credit card mobile app.
Protect Your Phones and Laptops from Viruses and Malware
Infecting people’s laptops and phones using malware and viruses is one of the ways these fraudsters get hold of other people’s personal and financial information. Always install anti-malware and anti-virus software to your laptop and phones (there are many free anti-virus software available online).
Avoid going to dodgy websites that may be infected with viruses and also be wary of opening links from emails from people that you don’t know.
And just to be extra secure, only transact with websites that use “HTTPS”. This is the secured version of the standard HTTP. You’ll see this on the address bar of your browser.
Stay Knowledgeable of Existing Scams
Credit card companies keep their customers safe and secure by sending tips and information about credit card scams that they know. Usually, they send it via email or via SMS. They get this information from reports of suspected fraudulent transactions that they receive from their customers.
There are also tons of information online about credit card fraud. Search and read those articles out to ensure that you are aware of the existing scams that are happening today.
Do Not Give Your Personal Information Online or via SMS or to an Unverified Bank Representatives
Banks will not ask you for your personal information via SMS or email. If you receive an email or an SMS asking for your password or Pin or any other personal information, call your bank right away to confirm if they need that information from you.
Please also be aware that a lot of fraudsters have stepped up their game and started copying the layout of credit card companies and bank emails. For the unsuspecting people, the email may look exactly what they usually receive from their banks. but, if you check the email address to see who sent the email, you’ll notice that most of these emails have a different email address and it is indeed not from your bank. Call your bank right away to report these scams.
If you received a call from a number different from what your bank usually use to contact you then be very careful in giving out information. You may be talking to someone who might steal your card information. Politely decline to give any information and just tell them that you’ll just call your bank at a later time to discuss whatever that call was all about.
Carefully Manage Your Passwords and Accounts
To increase the security of your credit card, make sure to change your account passwords regularly, and to use unique alphanumeric passwords with special characters to make it more difficult for hackers to figure out.
And also, disable the auto-fill function in your browsers to avoid having your credit card information stored in your web-browsers.
Don’t Share Your Card Information on Social Media
This is a very basic thing but every now and then someone stupid does this and makes himself/herself vulnerable to credit card fraud. Most often, it’s done innocently, someone was just so excited to share with his/her friends their new credit card. However, please be aware that your information on public websites can easily be access by anyone (most especially by fraudsters).
Sign-up for Additional Protection
To add a layer of security to your credit card transactions, be sure to sign-up for the available security feature. I don’t own a Mastercard but for Visa cards, whenever you pay for something, it goes to a page that asks you to type in the pin (One-Time Pin or OTP) that was sent to your mobile phone number (linked to your card).
- 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Applied for my First Credit Card
- 8 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Benefits
I’ll leave number 10 to you guys.
Feel free to share your tips in keeping your credit card safe and secure.