In today’s world where 24 hours in a day never seems to be enough to cover the 1001 things we need to go through the daily rigors of career jobs and family raising, credit cards have become an anchor for convenience. Its wide-ranging use has easily helped us … from filling refrigerators and kitchen cupboards with groceries to closing a 5-minute car rental lease that would have taken us to the beautifully-paved roads leading to a Jamaican beach resort. We use it, as in the words of a Beatles song …”here, there and everywhere” and much like Linus’ security blanket, they’ve become, for us, a crutch. So here is all tips about keeping your credit cards safe , hope you will use this steps and not be a victim.
For all the convenient, time-saving values and benefits credit cards naturally have, they do not come without risks.
Identity thefthas been defined as the successful or unsuccessful use of credit card, bank account records and other personal information with intent to defraud. It is now so widespread that security experts and analysts predict it will probably surpass the traditional theft we know as the top form of crime related to property. Another identity theft – filing of fraudulent income tax returns is likewise quickly growing.
“Phishing” or “brand spoofing” – this entails the use of websites and branded emails that look authentic, real and credible but are actually fraudulent. These are put up by thieving groups pretending to be legitimate companies, posing sometimes, as a financial institution in an attempt to gather customer information for purposes of committing fraud.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Justice, the theft of data and personal information from credit cards is rising. From 2005 to 2012, it has risen by 50%!
The experts at a cyber security firm, McAfee in Santa Clara, California say that lots of credit card numbers are up for sale. On the average, a single card number can go from $10 to $50. An American Express, no-limit card for a customer with a record of good credit, can run to hundreds of dollars. It’s no wonder then that identity theft has become a big, lucrative business for thieves and criminals.
Losses in 2012 resulting from credit and debit card fraud amounted to more than $11 billion. Card issuers incurred 63% of the losses while merchants and retailers had to account for the 37%.
One of the more prevalent ways of stealing an individual’s identity is while swiping credit cards or debit cards at the cash registers of respected merchants. These thieves use their own special computer programs to infiltrate the systems of stores and retail businesses and siphon off personal information when purchases are made. Such system hacking at the points of sale continues to rise and is now one of the biggest problems of the credit card and debit card industry.
7 Safety tips to keep your credit card protected from fraud:
1) Sign your credit card the minute your get it and keep your pin code separate from where you keep your credit card.
2) Don’t advertise your account number. These thieves really don’t need the card to invade your account, only the number. So keep your account number in a safe, private place. Don’t give it out indiscriminately as in phone or email requests for information.
3) Take care of your receipts. If there are extra spaces on them, draw a straight line so that no new items can be added. Keep them and check your billings against what the receipts are showing. When done, don’t just throw them away, shred them.
4) Secure your devices and networks. Get your computer equipped with a firewall. This will prevent unauthorized incursions into your computer and block off access into the monitoring of information transfer to and from your computer.
5) Protection of your credit card should be top of mind when you shop on-line. Shop and purchase from businesses which have a respectable track record and which you can easily contact for any issues or concerns. Look carefully into what their payment terms are, their refund guarantees, shipping costs and other guidelines.
6) Your passwords should be secret and private. They should be made up of letters and numbers, not names, birthdays or anniversary dates. Never share them and you should change them say, every 6 or 12 months.
7) Check your account frequently. Checking and reviewing the activities in your account is basic to credit card protection. It’s easy. You can do this on-line or by phone.
Keep these 7 safety tips in mind at all times. They will raise your chances of not becoming a fraud victim. In cases of lost or stolen cards, contact your card issuer at once. They have the efficient resources to block off any unauthorized use of your lost credit card and get you a replacement in no time at all.
Credit cards are here to stay. They will continue to be an integral part of our everyday lives because they provide us one of the most critical solutions to our needs: convenience. Let’s enjoy and maximize their usefulness. Let’s keep them safe.