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Protect Your Credit Cards: What to Do to Keep Your Cards Safe

Card Security

Cyber fraud is a serious problem that many consumers and industries are struggling with. Millions of people are affected by credit card fraud each year. The number of fraud victims and losses due to fraud all over the world keeps increasing, and credit cards are prime targets. That is why you should learn how to keep your credit cards safe.

In 2016, the Nilson Report estimated that losses due to credit card fraud topped $24.71 billion, a 12% increase from the previous year. In 2017, consumers in the US alone lost $905 million USD to fraud, which is 7% higher than in 2016, with credit card fraud being the most common form of identity theft; 33 million Americans were victims of card fraud in 2017.

Earlier, we presented tips on how to stay safe on your smartphone. Now, we want to help you protect yourself against credit card fraud by offering you 6 tips on how to keep your credit cards safe:

Keep an Eye on Your Card

When you receive a new card, the first thing to do is sign it on the back and make sure you destroy the old card.

Never leave your card unattended anywhere, and when making a purchase don’t take your eyes off the card. If you do, make sure you’re getting the right card back. If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately. Fraudulent use of cards normally occurs within hours of the loss or theft.

Don’t Store or Share Your Confidential Information

Always keep your confidential information private. Do not write down your PIN anywhere, memorize it, and do not store information such as passwords or your credit card information in browsers or anywhere where they are unprotected. Be sure to turn off your browser’s autocomplete settings to avoid it storing your confidential information.

Also, do not share your personal information with anyone via telephone or email. You should never give out your card number by phone, unless you know that you are dealing with a reputable company.

To keep your personal information safe, you should always shred old receipts and statements before throwing them away. Shredding documents with your personal information is the best way to protect yourself from identity theft, as this will make it harder for a fraudster to find any information about you that they can use.

Beware of Phishing Scams

Common online scams today include the phishing emails, where hackers attempt to obtain personal information such as credit card details, usernames, and passwords by pretending to represent reputable organizations such as your bank or telephone company. Fraudsters are getting better every day at tricking someone into clicking on a link in one of these emails. These links either bring you to a website that looks like one you frequent often, where your information can be stolen, or they infect your system with malware that collects your data, including PINs and CVV authentication numbers when you shop online. Never click on a link in a suspicious email.

If you receive an email that appears to be sent by a legitimate company but asks for sensitive financial information and you are suspicious of it, always contact the company directly to verify the authenticity of the email. Banks will not ask you for confidential information via email.

Regularly Verify Your Bank Activity

Check your financial statements regularly. You should visit your bank or credit card website at least once a week to check that no unauthorized withdrawals or charges have been made. Keep your receipts so you can match them with the charges on your credit card statement. If you see anything suspicious, contact your bank or credit card provider immediately to report any charges that weren’t made by you.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

You should turn on two-factor authentication wherever possible, such as for your banking and credit card accounts. Two-factor authentication means that you cannot log in with only your username and password. Instead you will receive a one-time code that you must use to be able to log in. This guarantees an extra level of protection as it makes it more difficult for fraudsters to access your accounts.

Did you know that Payza offers you two-factor authentication to protect your account? Read about it here: Keep Your Payza Account Secure: Payza Security Settings Explained

Be Careful When Using Public Wi-Fi Network

Do not use any websites where you enter your card information when using a public Wi-Fi network. It is also recommended to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that lets you send encrypted communications through a separate and secure private network while using a public Wi-Fi network. Also, when shopping on a mobile device, you should use your cellular data instead.

Always be careful when using your credit cards. By following these precautions, you can ensure the security of your cards and protect your personal information.

Payza has security and fraud prevention in place to stop problems before they happen, so you can be assured that your funds in your Payza Account are protected. Also, when making an online purchase using Payza, our payment system adds an extra layer of protection between you and the merchant as your payment details are not revealed to the merchant when you pay.

For more security news and tips from Payza, visit the Online Security section of the Payza Blog and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.