Credit Card Protection

Overview

Security is a major priority in a world where credit card fraud and unauthorized transactions are increasing. Credit cards play a main role in the financial frauds and these incidents jumped 44% from 2019 to 2020.  All types of fraud escalated during the COVID-19 crisis began and do not show signs of slowing down. Demands for credit card chargebacks have also increased. 

On the internet, it is relatively easy for cybercriminals to get access to credit card information through hacking, malware or phishing. However, it is important to keep a careful watch on your credit card information even offline. It is not unheard of for waiters and restaurant staff to steal credit card numbers and use them, although it is rare compared to stealing financial information online. 

How to Keep Your Credit Card Information Safe

  1. Take steps right away to secure your credit card
  2. Use anti-virus software
  3. Be attentive about merchants and secure networks
  4. Protect your information and do not give it out readily
  5. Dispose of receipts and sensitive documents carefully
  6. Notify the bank and credit company of updated addresses, phone numbers and emails
  7. Limit the number of times you pay directly with a credit card
  8. Report lost cards and unauthorized charges immediately

Take steps right away to secure your credit card

When you receive your credit card, sign the back of it immediately. It may seem like a small step, but it can make the difference between losing a significant amount of money through credit card fraud and keeping your money safe. People who steal a credit card may find it very easy to make unauthorized transactions by signing the back. If this happens, your own signature can’t be used as proof that the card belongs to you.

When you are issued a card, you are given the option of choosing your own PIN and password after using the temporary one given to you by the company. Do not choose a password that is used for any other accounts or that is personal to you, like a birthday or part of your address. Keep your password secure and change it periodically. 

Use Anti-Virus Software

It is always a good idea to use anti-virus software to protect your device and information in general. Software that keeps your device safe from malware or spyware can also protect your credit card information. In addition, to installing this software, ensure it is updated on a regular basis and that you have the best type of software within your budget to keep all of your information safe. 

Be attentive about merchants and secure networks

Be careful where you shop. Individuals can take all the precautions available but if their information is stored on a merchant’s database and gets hacked, they could be “punished” for the merchant’s lack of caution. 

There have been cases of major corporations having to admit that thousands if not millions of customers were affected by hacking and had their information compromised. In this case, credit card chargebacks can be a challenge, because many of these cyber criminals disappear. 

Therefore, ensure that merchants you use have top-notch cybersecurity and that their employees use best practices to keep customer information safe. Also, never make credit card transactions over networks that are not secure. This means being careful in cafes and with public Wifi. 

Protect your information and do not give it out readily

In addition to malware and hacking, phishing is another particularly destructive form of credit card fraud. Phishing involves getting the information directly from the person by pretending to represent a company or a government organization. This can be done by email, text, or phone. 

For instance, you may receive an email from a merchant, bank, or payment platform telling you to verify your credit card information. There will be a link that, instead of sending you to the real site, will take you to a decoy site and ask you to input your credit card information. 

For this reason, avoid clicking on links sent by email, even if you think you know and trust the sender because they could be fake. Instead, visit the site and change the information directly there. 

Dispose of receipts and sensitive documents carefully

Believe it or not, some unscrupulous people may actually go through the trash or recycling bin to find credit card information or other personal data. Shred all documents and receipts before throwing them away. Examine receipts carefully before tossing them to ensure there were not fraudulent transitions. 

Notify the bank and credit company of updated addresses, phone numbers, and emails

When people move to a new address, the first thing they do most likely is not to notify their bank or credit card company. 

However, this should be a top priority if you don’t want them to send letters with sensitive information to your old address. Also, you will want to be notified of any urgent updates from financial companies, so it is a good idea to update them with any of these changes, whether it is a physical address, phone, or email. 

 

Report lost cards and unauthorized charges immediately

Make sure you know what is going on with your account. Check it often and review all transactions to make sure they were made by you. Contact the credit card company immediately if there are unauthorized charges and or if your credit card was stolen. The chargeback process can go more smoothly if the situation is reported promptly. The more time passes, the more damage can be done. 

All of these steps will keep your credit card more secure, but no system is foolproof. If your credit card information was stolen, even after taking necessary precautions, report the incident and work with fund recovery professionals to improve your chances of getting a credit card chargeback. 

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