How to Keep Your Credit Card Information Safe
With the Internet taking over so much of the fraud and identity problems that consumers deal with now, learning how to keep your credit card information safe is now just as important as taking the right steps to prepare for an audit. Not only do you need to be concerned with people who can steal this information right out of the airways, but also through the websites that you are dealing with. Even banks and other secure institutions are facing problems with information theft and their systems being hacked.
Paranoid or Smart Planning?
With all of this news, how do you still use your credit card in a safe manner and not become paranoid? The idea is to become paranoid in an efficient manner and only use this information in places where it can be protected. If you're talking about shopping online, then avoid websites who don't carry the BBB logo or PayPal symbol for protected payment procedures. This is a good first clue as to whether or not the site is a startup and actually ready to handle the security demands the customers and clients will have. Although startups should not be immediately discounted, you might just be a bit more cautious with how much of your personal information you share with them.
Another way to keep your information safe over the airways is to only send these numbers over a secure network. The common advice is not to go shopping when you're using a public network, and if you do, make sure everything is encrypted. Unfortunately, some people like to do nothing better than sit at coffee shops and collect the credit card numbers that are being used there. This creates a lot of opportunity for people who want to defraud others and it can be disastrous to your identity and attached accounts. If you don't have a choice other than to use these methods, make sure you follow through with the entire transaction and look at all the confirmation numbers.
Check Your Credit Card Bill
They are finding out also that many clients don't take the time to check the individual transactions on their credit card statements each month. This is a simple method that can help you identify potential theft and make sure that everything you're being charged for is something you actually did. Many hackers and identity thieves get away with things like this because people think it's too time consuming to go through this paperwork. The sacrifice of ten minutes is much than spending a couple years removing all the damage these people can do to your credit report. Catching these problems when they first begin will allow you to put a freeze on certain accounts, if necessary, and not be out any more money.
The good news is that more people are becoming aware of how to keep your credit card information safe and they are advertising what methods they are taking to help with this. When you deal with an establishment that is aware of the dangers, then you know they are taking steps to prevent it all along the way. It also gives you some ideas to consider that you may not have been aware of previously. If you can use a special program while you're online to protect your data and it's a low-cost option, then this is a good solution to a common problem. Signing up for membership with a company that constantly monitors your accounts is another good method to use. They can let you know right away if something looks suspicious and help you handle it immediately if it is.
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State Guides to Credit Card Laws
- North Carolina
- West Virginia