Simple Ways to Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud has become a bigger concern for families around the world as we move into an increasingly digital age. These concerns are not displaced as fraudulent credit card charges occur every day in an abundance of different ways. While you cannot always prevent fraud from occurring on your credit cards, there are ways that you can make it more difficult for those who are working to steal your information.
When it comes to your credit card, there is no reason to think that you are being too paranoid when it comes to your accounts. You should treat your accounts and your physical cards as carefully as possible to lessen the chances that you are targeted. The following concepts will increase your credit cards safety and save you from having to work through the hassle of reporting purchases to your credit card company.
Keep Your Credit Cards Safe
The first step in credit card safety lies in keeping your physical credit card safe. There are a few different ways that you can do that, which include the following:
- Sign Your Card - Having a signed card reduces that chances that someone will be able to use it at a physical location as it is difficult to copy a signature.
- Don't Lend Your Card Out - Always keep your card in your physical possession even if you trust the person you are considering lending it to. Your card is only as safe as you can make it and you can't be sure how others will treat it.
- Purchase an RFID Shield - If your credit card has an RFID embedded you can protect it with a shield. You can choose a sleeve to fit in your wallet or purchase a wallet that provides complete shielding from thieves.
Be Safe Using Your Credit Card Online
Being safe with your physical card will only take you so far because so many of our purchases are completed online. That means that you will need to be extra vigilant when you are buying items online, especially if you are buying from a new site for the first time.
The first thing that you should do when making a purchase online is to make sure that you have checked the sites website address. You want to exclusively use websites that utilize "https://" instead of "http://". The difference between the two is that the website with the "s" utilizes an encryption code that scrambles your information and increases your safety when it comes to online purchases.
You should also try to skip buying anything with your credit card when using a public computer or public WiFi. When you use public computers you are leaving yourself open to the possibility of the computer storing your information for others to use. Choosing public WiFi also increases the chances of a hacker snatching your information.
Additionally, you should focus on the following:
- Don't Give Anyone Your Social Security Number
- Keep Your Anti-Virus Current
- Check For Seals From VeriSign or TRUSTe
- Use Solid Passwords
Use Good Judgement
Always use your instincts before you make purchases on new websites. If you think that a webpage is behaving oddly or doesn't seem credible, then don't make any purchases there before you have done more research.
Additionally, you should never click on a link that is sent to you via email especially if you don't recognize the sender or don't recognize the website that it's trying to send you to. If you are interested in a product that they are advertising then navigate to it through your regular browser to avoid clicking on links that are designed to steal your information.
Review Your Statements
You should always take the time to look over your statement when it comes in the mail. Keep a log through the month of the purchases that you have made and compare it to your statement when it arrives.
Not only should you make sure that you review your information when it comes, you should make sure that you are disposing of your statements in the correct way. Your statements are full of information that can be used to make fraudulent charges online. If you are disposing of your statements, make sure that you shred them and dispose of them away from your home.
Report Missing Credit Cards Immediately
If you do find any discrepancies on your credit card statement, report it as soon as possible. Once you have reported the fraud on your account, you will no longer be responsible for charges that are made afterward. This step will increase your chances of incurring more fraudulent charges that you are responsible for and help you to recoup your current losses.