Credit Card Security
This is the age of plastic money. Plastics money made our life easier and more comfortable. Everything we need is available to us with the simple “Swap” of a credit card sliding through a reader. Today even hotel stay reservation or a car rental requires a credit card.
The big question is: “How safe is all this plastic money?”
Credit card has its obvious benefits. When you buy a sandwich for $3.25 and you hand the cashier a $5 bill, you know you haven’t been ripped off when he hands you $1.75 right then and there. But when you hand your card to a waiter at the local restaurant, how do you know he hasn’t taken a moment to sneak into the office and copy your card number and signature? You don’t, and the implications of this question are having a serious effect on credit card companies and the merchants they do business with credit card.
In response to these issues, the big credit card companies have developed more secure ways to do business. MasterCard International and Visa got together and came up with a set of guidelines called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This is a list of 12 guidelines that imposes strict regulations on all transactions taking place between the card company and the merchants it trades with. While these standards have been in place since 2005, merchants are taking some time to catch up to them.
The basics protection of Credit Card.
- Sign your new card as soon as you receive it.
- When making purchases, never lose sight of your card to reduce the chance of someone ‘skimming’ your details, i.e. using a device to copy the details from your card
- Look out for suspicious devices on ATMs or pinpads
- Watch for people looking over your shoulder while you are using the ATM.
- Keep your receipts and check them against your statements.
- Destroy expired or unwanted cards properly by cutting through the signature and magnetic strip and any chip.
- Never give your card to anyone, even family or friends. Instead, if needed you may want to request an additional card for their use.
- Never write down your PIN and, if you change your PIN, avoid choosing obvious numbers like your date of birth or the last four digits of your phone number.
- Keep us up to date if you change your contact detail including home, work and mobile phone numbers as well as your email address. This assists us in contacting you quickly if we detect suspicious transactions.
Simple useful tips for shopping online
- Only shop online at secure websites – look for the padlock at the bottom of your screen which helps to protect the information you send via the internet.
- Look for reputable internet merchants or stores – anyone can set up a website, so if you are unsure of the company or their online security then ask for more information before you use their service
- Ensure the computer you use has current anti-virus and firewall protection
- Print out copies of online receipts to make it easier to check yourstatement
Credit Card Fraud
Not long ago a I got an information that a woman dined at a favorite restaurant. She paid by credit card. When she received her next credit card bill, though, she was shocked. She saw charges of several hundred dollars for things that she didn’t buy.
Credit card fraud is increasing day by day. It costs businesses billions of dollars each year. And it costs you, too. Businesses pass these costs on to you in the form of higher prices, interest rates and fees. If you are victimized by a credit card scam, you also pay with your time and inconvenience getting your credit cleared.
You are not usually required to pay unauthorized charges – especially if you call the credit card company immediately after discovering a problem.
When the woman at the restaurant called her credit card company, they said she was a victim of “skimming” – a growing area of credit card theft. At the restaurant an employee probably ran her credit card twice, once for the meal charge and a second time on a magnetic card reader. The employee then copied the data onto a blank credit card and sold it to a third person or used it personally. The woman didn’t have to pay for the unauthorized charges.
Credit card companies are taking steps to make the cards more secure. Some display a photograph of the cardholder so criminals can’t make face-to-face purchases with a stolen credit card. Most cards have holograms, secret imprints, or hidden images so thieves have a harder time making a new credit card with a stolen card number.
Despite these improvements, you still be a victim of credit card fraud. Even though credit card companies usually won’t make you pay for the merchandise that thieves buy, it can be nerve-wracking to lose a credit card or find unauthorized charges on your credit card bill. That’s why it’s important to protect your credit card, your credit card number, and your credit card sales slip.
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips:
- Never provide your credit card information on a website that is not a secure site.
- Never respond to emails that request you provide your credit card info via email — and don’t ever respond to emails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) information. These are called ‘phishing’ scams.
- If you move, notify your credit card issuers in advance of your change of address.
- Only carry one or, at most, two credit cards.
- Carbon paper is rarely used these days, but if there is a carbon that is used in a credit card transaction, destroy it immediately.
- Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.
- Read your monthly billing statement carefully to see if it includes purchases or transactions you did not make. Report any to the credit card company right away.
- Always void and destroy incorrect receipts.
- Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Carefully draw a line through blank portions of the receipt where additional charges could be fraudulently added.
- Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.
- Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a cell phone or other camera.
- Ideally, it’s a good idea to carry your credit cards separately from your wallet — perhaps in a zippered compartment or a small pouch.
- Don’t write your PIN number on your credit card — or have it anywhere near your credit card (in the event that your wallet gets stolen).
- Never write your credit card account number in a public place (such as on a postcard or so that it shows through the envelope payment window).
- Never lend a credit card to anyone else.