Guarding Your Credit Card Information

The last thing you need, especially when times are tough, is to have someone take your hard earned money. If someone getsĀ  hold of your credit card information and uses it to make purchases, you may be on the hook to pay the bill if you are not aware of the identity theft soon enough to protest. You have to use your cards wisely for your own financial well-being but you also have to guard your information so that someone else is not using your credit to get what they want and then walking away leaving you to clean up the mess. There are no safe guards but you can do some things to help remain safe.

First, never give your credit card information to your family and friends. This might be something you give to your child when in college for expenses, but you might better get them a prepaid debit card instead. This way you are in control of your information and you do not have to worry about them using it from things of which you do not approve or them leaving it laying around for a less than honest person to see the numbers and then use them. If someone has an emergency, use your card on your own to help them out and keep your numbers to yourself.

Secondly, make sure you sign the back of your card. This does not always help keep your credit card information safe but it will stop some illegal uses of your card. You can also write ‘see ID’ or ‘CID’ on the back so that your card will not be used or accepted without you showing your identification. This won’t do you any good if someone gets the numbers, but it will help in some cases if you lose your card and someone else picks it up and tries to use it. Some even sign the card so that the merchant has a signature to compare to and then also puts to ask for ID for double protection.

If you get an email from anyone asking you for your birth date, password, PIN, social security number, or your credit card information, do not do it. Anyone needing anything from you can call you on the phone or send you a letter. Even then, use caution. No one will ask you for that information in an email. If you get such an email, never click on a link. Instead, call the company and ask them if they sent you and email through a number you know to be correct. For the most part, you should never have to give out this type of information unless you start the transaction.

Think of your credit card information as being just as private as your social security number. Never use it on a website that does not have a secure ordering page. The address for this should start with https:// instead of just http://. That ‘s’ means secure. Also, do not feel bad about shielding a machine when entering a PIN or credit card. You never know who may be looking and trying to get your personal information. You may never dream of using someone’s identity or credit card for your own gain, but there are many who see nothing wrong with it. Protect yourself.

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