New Era’s Guide to Credit Card Safety
The amount of credit card data hacked or stolen has been rising each year. It’s scary to think about the possibilities of becoming one of these victims. There are a few precautions you can take to keep your credit card information out of the wrong hands. Making sure to take the proper steps in securing your credit card information is the best way to prevent future fraud.
Online shopping is quickly dominating the retail market. It’s a fast, easy way to shop, without having to leave the comfort of your home. While online shopping is one of the great luxuries of the digital age, it can also leave your credit card information at risk.
When shopping online, it’s important to make sure the website you’re purchasing from is secure. One indicator is that they will have “https” instead of “http” at the beginning of their web address. The added “s” stands for secured, letting you know that it is a safe website to enter your credit card information on. Secured sites encrypt any information entered by visitors before sending it back to the site administrator or ecommerce interface.
One of the easiest ways hackers obtain credit card information is online. That’s why it is so important to spend time creating difficult passwords. For the best security, it’s smart to use a different password for each website. Make sure your passwords are not kept in the same place you keep your credit cards. In the unfortunate event that your credit card gets stolen, so will all your passwords if they’re stored in the same place.
When creating a password, make sure that you don’t use the names of people or pets that you are close with. The most secure passwords have uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. In addition, your passwords should be 8-12 characters. More complex is always better. Creating passwords that are impossible for hackers to figure out is a great way to prevent your credit card information from getting stolen.
If you’re entering your credit card information onto your computer for any reason, make sure that the computer browsers autocomplete settings are turned off. If they are not, they will automatically store your credit card and personal information to your computer.
Having that information stored on your computer gives hackers an easy access point to your information. It’s also beneficial to go through the trash bin on your computer every so often to make sure you don’t have any previous payment information sitting in there. The trash bin is another common place that hackers obtain private information about their victims.
Reading over your credit card statement every month is enormously important for the safety of your card information, financial assets, and credit health. If you see any unfamiliar activity on your statement, make sure to contact your credit card provider right away. The longer you wait, the more time the bad actor has to continue making transactions.
Credit Card Safety FAQs
How has credit card safety changed in recent years?
In the era of the internet, online stores, and increasingly complex phishing schemes, credit card safety has had to adapt to a constantly changing landscape to keep American wallets secure. Here are some key aspects of credit card security that have become more prominent in recent times:
- Chip and PIN features: Creditors have introduced a host of new encryption methods that offer better security than magnetic strip transactions.
- Mobile Wallets: The usability of 3rd-party mobile wallet applications such as Apple Pay, Venmo, CashApp, and others has continued to increase into the 2020’s. Not only do these apps have their own security systems, such as fingerprint or facial recognition for making payments, but they also help hide certain aspects of users’ payment information when used for checkout.
- Contactless Payment Systems: In addition to Chip credit cards, creditors have pushed for contactless payment options that allow for wireless payments when checking out. This helps to prevent theft through electronics that can steal credit card information via touch & has been much more widely implemented across the United States in the 2020’s.
What are some other credit card safety tips that are important in 2023?
With the majority of credit card theft happening through online avenues, some things you can do to help keep your credit information safe when shopping online could involve:
- Turning on alerts to keep you aware of any new transactions for all credit card accounts that you have
- Never storing your credit card information on websites or applications, as the information can become compromised if the site or application is ever hacked into
- Avoiding including any account login information, credentials, or secret question + answer information in any email format
- Never using public wi-fi to make purchases on
- Using private browsers such as Incognito Mode in Chrome or a Private Firefox window to access websites with sensitive financial information within them
- Logging off when you’re done working on your bank’s website
- Not giving out any personal information when you did not initiate the call
- Avoiding clicking on any links that look suspicious or aren’t clear about which site they are leading you to
- Reporting financial fraud to your bank when you think you’ve encountered it