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Monday, April 22, 2013

Security checks before using credit card?

Steps to keep you Credit card safe from Misuse
credit card security

The credit card is a much maligned and revered instrument occupying space in everyone’s wallet. It can be misused easily by anyone if they have acess to you credit card details as with the growing market of online purchases it is very easy for a fraudster to misuse your card. It has many advantages and disadvantages both depending on how you use it, the security issues of owning and using a credit card need to be taken seriously.

STEP 1: Be careful with your personal information. Don’t share details like your official date of birth, mother’s maiden name amongst other such information. Don’t share your credit card number either. Especially don’t reply to phonecalls and emails supposedly from your bank or credit card company asking you to share your personal info.If anyone has access to the above information then they can easily change the details over phone and then can misuse your card without even you getting a alert.

STEP 2: Get your card swiped for billing in front of you. If you use your card a lot at petrol pumps or you dine out a lot, then preferably scratch out the CVV numbers (last three digits of the number on the reverse of your card). Memorise the CVV number for your transactions or note it down somewhere safe. One of the most common cases of credit card fraud is of petrol pump attendants and restaurant staff using the data on your card along with the CVV number even if they are themselves not indulging in such activities, they can very easily sell such data to fraudsters.

STEP 3: Use the transaction alert facility with your credit card company, so that you are aware the instant your card has been used for any transaction. A fraud can still be committed but you can atleast take corrective action immediately and avoid paying for charges not your own. Keep the credit card company helpline number saved on your phone and call them to check any discrepancy.

STEP 4: In fact you should go through your card statement in great detail the moment you get it and call the card company for any transaction or charges that you don’t understand or make. Preferably get online access to your credit card and keep checking it off and on to be sure only activity authorised by you is taking place.

STEP 5: Use only sites that are safe and legitimate, and that have a secure payment gateway that starts with ‘https’ and not ‘http’ this ensures that your data is being sent in an encrypted manner and hence is protected. Look for a locked padlock before going ahead with an online transaction. Do not use public computers for online shopping or transactions if in emergencies you have to use computers other than your own, then delete the cache information, don’t save passwords and use the screen keyboard to enter your passwords.

STEP 6: A credit card protection plan is an insurance cover against loss, theft and fraud of credit, debit, ATM, membership or loyalty cards. It makes sense, especially if you travel a lot, or need to entertain socially and professionally basically if the usage of your cards is high and by nature you are not very meticulous, careful or cautious.

If at any point of time your card is misused then you can always go in for a chargeback but this takes time and a lot of effort. It is always better to be safe than sorry.



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