Let’s Talk About Security: 8 Tips to Keep Your Credit and Debit Card Information Safe

Let’s Talk About Security: 8 Tips to Keep Your Credit and Debit Card Information Safe
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Point Editorial

Taking measures to ensure credit card security is essential to protecting your personal banking information and lowers the risk of fraud. All credit cards have a security code that is three or sometimes four digits on the back of the card. Typically, you need to provide this security number when shopping online for verification purposes. Also called the CVV, each code is unique to a specific card. 

The best way to keep your credit cards safe from any fraudulent activity is to share your card's CVV only when you need to. Most credit card companies like Visa or Mastercard offer fraud protection, meaning that you are not liable if your card is stolen or lost. 

Ultimately, as a cardholder, you are responsible for looking after your card day by day. Fraud is always a risk, but effective strategies exist to help you minimize that risk. Read on as we explain them further. 

Credit card safety

Every credit card comes with several built-in security features, which include:

Account number

Firstly, the account number is the sequence imprinted on the front face of the card. It is usually 16 digits long, though it can range from 13 to 19. This numeric pattern is unique to your card and its accompanying account. 

Expiration date

You'll find the expiration date on the card's front side below the account number. Vendors will not accept your card if it has expired, but you'll receive a new one before that date. 

Security code

Again, the three-digit security code, also called the CVV, is on your credit card for “card not present” transactions, meaning purchases made online rather than in person.

Credit card chips

The computerized chip implanted on the card’s face contains encrypted information for each purchase made, making it difficult to fake. 

Holographs

Your credit card's hologram is the small, three-dimensional image in either the bottom right- or left-hand corner. These icons are complicated to forge and are unique to each card as well.

Cardholder signature

Cardholders must sign the back of the card before it is valid for use. 

8 tips to avoid identity theft and secure your credit card 

Credit card fraud has risen over the years. Here are eight tips to help decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim of credit card fraud.  

Tip 1: Don't make transactions on open networks. WiFi networks that are open, or that don't require a password for access, are incredibly vulnerable to hackers and data leakages. Always use secured networks. It is important to note that if a webpage doesn't begin with "HTTPS," it is most likely an unsecured site. 

Tip 2: Don't email your card number. Writing down your number on paper or in an email is an easy way for fraudsters to acquire it, as these are other unencrypted mediums. 

Tip 3: Keep your account number private. That's pretty self-explanatory. 

Tip 4: Never store credit card information on a website. Another easy precaution you can take is disabling autofill on your web browser to ensure websites where you've previously made purchases don't save your info.  

Tip 5: Check your account often. Review your credit statements frequently to stay abreast of any issues. If there are errors or fraudulent charges, get in touch with your bank or your credit card company immediately.

Tip 6: Don't post or send photos of your credit card. Anything posted on the internet can never truly be erased. Even if you cover up some of the numbers on the card's front or back, hackers can still attempt to make purchases with visible numbers. 

Tip 7: Have unique passwords. Having a specific password that you change frequently is a simple yet effective step to ensure that your online credit accounts are less likely to fall prey to hackers. 

Tip 8: Be diligent. Your credit card is a tool. You are the one responsible for taking care of it and for all its activity. If you are careful about distributing your credit card information and stay on top of any suspicious charges that appear on your statements, preserving your financial security will not be difficult.  

Debit card safety

Debit cards can be more vulnerable to fraud than credit cards. When you make a transaction with a bank card, the money comes directly from your bank account. That means that if your card is stolen, falsified purchases can seriously drain your funds. Below are several steps you can take to keep this from happening.  

Tip 1: Protect your PIN or personal identification number. Never share this with anyone. Do not write it down, and don’t send it through messaging apps.  

Tip 2: Unless your debit card has zero liability protection like Point Card, avoid using it online. Remember, a traditional debit card does not offer zero liability protection, so if you choose to use it to shop online, make sure the website has a padlock icon next to the site address. That means it is a secured network. Point’s zero liability protection allows you to use your card freely and stress-free, no matter where you shop.

Tip 3: Only use ATMs at a bank. If you do use an external ATM, make sure it is associated with your card. Most money machines located outside banks are vulnerable to “skimming,” meaning it is quick work for a thief to intercept your data. 

Tip 4: Inform the bank of any changes to your contact information. 

Tip 5: Treat your debit card like cash. 

Tip 6: Check your bank statement often, and if possible, use an app like Point Card’s, which instantly notifies you of every purchase. Again, whether you’re using a credit or a debit card, reviewing your statements and setting up frequent alerts is crucial to ensuring that you did indeed make all the purchases listed in your account’s activity.  

Tip 7: Save your receipts. Like the previous tip, keeping a record of all your transactions will help you stay informed about your spending, and you’ll be able to identify anything amiss. 

Tip 8: If you should lose your card or it happens to be stolen, report it immediately. The less time you give scammers to exploit your credit accounts, the better.  

Point’s contributions

Because Point Card is a Mastercard, it comes with fraud protection, meaning there is zero liability for cardholders.

Point Card is for those who want to earn rewards without worrying about the hassles of a credit card. In addition to security coverage, Point Card is significantly less susceptible to hackers and does not come with any interest rates. Point users are entitled to unlimited cash-back on all purchases, as well as bonus cash-back on subscriptions, food delivery, rideshare services, plus benefits like car and phone insurance. 

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Point Editorial
A group of writers, thinkers, & designers from varying backgrounds — all part of the Point Card team. Sharing perspectives on concepts in design, finance, and culture through an everyday lens.
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