8 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud

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Credit card fraud is rapidly growing especially due to the technological improvement. With so many people making transactions online and using credit cards, people have to be more cautious to avoid being victims of frauds. The following is a list of eight ways that you can employ to guard your credit card details and shun the vice.

1. Monitor Your Accounts Regularly

Hence, it can be asserted that one of the most effective methods of preventing credit card fraud is to ensure that the accounts are repeatedly checked. In this way, you will be in a position to notice the charges that you never made and therefore be in a position to handle them.

  • Set up alerts: Most banks and credit card companies offer alerts via email or text message for transactions. Set up these alerts to receive real-time notifications of any purchases.
  • Review statements: Carefully go through your monthly statements to ensure all charges are legitimate. Report any suspicious activity immediately to your credit card issuer.

2. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Your online banking and credit card accounts are only as safe as the passwords that have been set by you. Another measure that one should always adhere to is the use of hard and different passwords as this will assist in reducing the intruders’ access.

  • Create complex passwords: The following format of the password should be followed: alphabets, numbers and special characters. Do not use answers that any one would easily figure out such as dates of birth or simple words.
  • Change passwords regularly: It is also suggested to update the passwords from time to time in order to enhance the level of protection.
  • Use a password manager: Password manager can create a strong password for all your accounts and is easier to handle the accounts securely.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a process of addition of security layer of an account in which the user has to prove the identity twice rather than the password.

  • SMS or email codes: Almost all the financial institutions use the codes that are sent to your phone or email to offer 2FA to clients.
  • Authenticator apps: Google Authenticator or Authy are suggested to be used to increase the security, as they generate the time-sensitive code for the user.

4. Be Cautious with Public Wi-Fi

As much as Public Wi-Fi networks are easy to connect to they are playgrounds for hackers. Avoid making financial transactions over public Wi-Fi as this may lead to your information being stolen.

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): In case you need to connect to a public WI-FI, having a VPN will assist in protecting your connection. VPNs provide you with the secure channel for transferring your information; therefore, it will be nearly impossible for hackers to obtain your credit card details.
  • Disable auto-connect: Ensure that your gadgets are not joining other open Wi-Fi networks without your knowledge.

5. Keep Your Devices Secure

Your smartphone, your tablet, your computer which you use in your everyday life can become the target of cybercriminals. Safe guarding them is a way of protecting your credit card information.

  • Install antivirus software: There are many antivirus soft wares that proved to be effective in the protection of your devices against malware among them are.
  • Update software regularly: Perform an update of the operating system, applications and the antivirus program to minimize the dangers resulting from vulnerabilities.
  • Use encryption: Secure the data that is stored in your gadgets by making it difficult for the intruders to get into it.

6. Beware of Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are pretty much when a scammer attempts to get you to spit your personal details, including credit card numbers.

  • Recognize phishing emails: This is important in order to avoid getting a victim of identity theft through emails that may ask for such details or through web sites that may ask for such information. The following are some of the signs that will assist you in identifying the fake accounts; they include; they use general greeting, they have poor English, they only share links.
  • Verify the sender: If you find that you have received an email that looks like it is from your bank or credit card company, then do not consider it as an actual email, instead, contact the institution through other means.
  • Avoid clicking on links: Never click on the links that are provided in the emails, instead, type the URLs of the websites in the address bar yourself.

7. Use Secure Payment Methods

When buying online ensure that payment methods are secure in order to guarantee that credit card details are secure.

  • Look for HTTPS: Ensure the website begins with ‘https://’ and before the address bar there should be a padlock icon.
  • Use credit over debit: Credit card holders are more protected than debit card holders especially in cases of frauds. Moreover, when making a purchase using a credit card, one’s bank balance does not get compromised in case the credit card details are intercepted.
  • Consider virtual credit cards: Some of the banks provide virtual credit card numbers that can be used only for Internet purchases for a limited period of time thus raising the level of security.

8. Regularly Check Your Credit Reports

To prevent fraud, it is suggested to monitor the credit reports as often as possible to identify the signs. By law you are entitled to receive at least one free credit report from the three major credit bureaus which include Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in a year.

  • Check for discrepancies: Look for any account or any activity that you never used to look for before. Any information that is considered as suspicious should be reported to the authorities.
  • Stagger your requests: It is possible to obtain credit reports from different bureau every 4 months and monitor your credit all the year without charges.

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