Credit Card Security Tips

By: Nick Hardman
If you have just received a new credit card then security is going to need to be a consideration. You don't need to be paranoid every time you use your card but you should be aware of the types of scams out there so that you can evolve a routine that reduces the risks involved in owning a credit card. It seems that most people nowadays are concerned with Internet card use and fraud surrounding it. It is indeed a major consideration but even using your card in a corner shop can be risky if you aren't careful. Here are some top that should make you feel more confident and safe in the use of your card.Firstly you are going to need to take precautions so that your card doesn’t get lost or stolen - leaving your wallet or purse lying around on a table in a pub is still the worst thing that you can do! You must make sure that your credit card is in a safe place at all times so that you don't leave it behind or have it stolen. It is worth putting it in an inside pocket, somewhere where it can’t fall out, especially in a busy crowd where pickpockets may be operating.? The next credit card security tip is don't put yourself in the position where your PIN or card number can be stolen. Be wary of people standing behind you in queues. The PIN number on its own is fairly useless but is obviously disastrous if the criminal then gets hold of your card.

Also be aware that it isn't just your PIN number that fraudsters are after - some memorise the 16 -digit card number across the middle in its entirety. In some cases this is far more dangerous than giving out the PIN number, as purchases can then be made online. Of course most online companies now ask for the 3-digit number on the signature strip, but not all do. Don't use your card in a cash machine that has an unusual looking attachment on the card slot: criminals can place devices on cash machines that steal your card.? In shops and restaurants etc don't let the attendant take your card out of view as they can either steal your card details or clone your card. Cloning a card is when someone makes an illegal copy of your card and can take just a few seconds - even if the attendant just takes your card below the counter, your card could be cloned.Next, destroy all of your receipts, statements and letters with great care. This is a good credit card security tip as it means that if someone were to go through your rubbish, they will not be able to get hold of your card details. While it may be hard to imagine a thief going through your rubbish in order to steal your money, it happens more often than you may think. All receipts, statements and letters from your card company should be shredded or torn into tiny pieces. Receipts often display some of your card numbers but not all of them. Unfortunately different receipts display different numbers and, with a handful of receipts, a fraudster would be able to piece your number together.? Statements and letters from the company are an open invitation to thieves as they often use your card number as a reference.? Of course they also have other pertinent details such as your name and address.Next you need to consider Internet safety and look at how and where you use you card online. The first online credit card security tip has to be not to use your card on suspicious websites.? Of course, there are so many online shops that you may think it is difficult to ascertain, but generally legitimate companies will use one of the major payment systems such as WorldPay. These systems take your payments centrally and are experts on Internet card security.? Finally never send your card details via email or an instant messenger service. If a company or individual asks you to do so, refuse.? Even if they aren't intending to steal money from you, the card details can too easily be intercepted. Also don't enter your card details on a public computer.? Sometime computers will offer to record your details so that you don't have to enter them over and over; this is fine on a home computer but bad on a public one where the next user could also be shown your card number.

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