Change Your Mindset

You need to start thinking differently if you want to better protect your credit cards.  Always be wary of who is asking for your card number.  Only give this information out on a need to know basis. Bank card companies don’t phone you out of the blue to verify info like your mom’s maiden name. Never give a credit card number through e-mail. Internet fraudsters regularly entice you with promises of prizes or money and then require you to give a credit card number to claim your winnings.  This is when they get your information and start racking up unauthorized charges.  Don’t fall for this scam. Also watch out for phony websites which resemble a retail merchant’s real web site.

Travel Precautions

If you intend to leave the state or country, simply take one charge card and leave the remainder in a safe place at your residence.  Additionally, make a photocopy of the card in case you have to call your bank. Leave the copy with a trusted friend or relative back home in case you need to produce it for verification purposes.  Also consider making a digital copy of your credit card and storing it on a small flash drive that you can keep on your person.  Request that someone pick up your mail while you’re travelling, to ensure your account statement isn’t stolen from your mailbox while you’re gone. In the event you do need to contact your bank or credit card company while on vacation, don’t do it in a public place.  There are too many ears listening that may be trying to steal your card number or other sensitive information.  Make these calls in private.

Internet Use

Research every website where you could potentially use your credit card, even sites that you might normally consider safe. If the site is unfamiliar, look for BBB reviews or complaints about the site prior to submitting any credit card information.. Double check that there is a closed padlock icon at the bottom of your web browser for any page you will be submitting credit card details.  This ensures that the page is encrypted, making it significantly more difficult for hackers to steal your information. Telephone the vendor’s number to check that it is a legitimate business. Be careful of P.O. box and international addresses.

Bank Statements

Review your credit card statement monthly for possibly fraudulent activity. Telephone the card company instantly, should you not obtain monthly statements. A credit thief might have redirected your bank card statement to a different address. Request preceding account statements and alert the organization of potential theft of your bank card. These steps will help improve your online banking security.

Suggestion

Shred any records that include your personal information before putting them in the trash. Occasionally monitor your own credit file for statements you won’t ever started. You’ll be able to free yearly credit file from your Yearly Credit File site. If feasible, maintain statements or photocopies of statements and canceled checks for no less than annually. These items may be needed by you in the event of a later dispute.