Although there used to be a time when people only used cash or checks, no longer is that the case. In fact, it’s becoming rarer for people to have more than $20 on them and even rarer for them to use checks at all. Instead, more individuals are opting to use their credit (or debit) cards.
If you are an avid credit card user, it’s important that you take certain precautions. That way, you can be confident that you will not become the victim of fraud or theft. So, if you’d like a few tips on how to use your credits in a way that is both smart and safe, here are five to keep in mind:
Be mindful when shopping online. Although it can be very convenient to purchase things online, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you do. One, make sure that your computer’s software is current and that you have malware software installed on it. Secondly, look for websites that have “https” in the browser before the website’s name. That “s” lets you know that the site is secure. Third, it’s better to use a credit card rather than a debit card when it comes to online purchases. The reason why is because if the number happens to be stolen, it’s easier to shut down a credit account. With a debit card, the money is immediately pulled out. So, if someone happened to steal your card or it’s number, it may take several weeks to get your money back.
Sign up to receive credit usage notifications. These days, whether it’s a card through your bank, a credit card company or even a card through PayPal, you can sign up for alerts that will let you know when a transaction has taken place. That way, if you receive a text or an email about an unrecognized charge, you can alert the card company immediately and they can either put a hold on your account or file a dispute.
Pay attention to what’s in your wallet. One of the reasons why some people end up losing their credit cards or having them stolen is because their wallet is stuffed with all kinds of cards, receipts and business cards. Wallets are not compartments to store junk. They are simply a way to organize your credit and debit cards, your identification cards and your cash. So, before going out each day, look to see what’s in your wallet and take out whatever you absolutely do not need.
Avoid lending out your credit cards. If you were to go to a website like CreditCardXpo.com to apply for a credit card and you happened to read an article on how to be responsible with credit card spending, one of the tips may be to not lend out your credit card to others. Even if you trust the one you are handing the credit card to, they can become a victim of theft while your card is in their possession. You need to be in control of your card at all times. It’s vital that you keep it (and the number) to yourself.
Don’t sign the back of your cards. When your card is signed on the bank, the merchant may or may not request to see some identification. But when there is no signature available, that alerts them to the fact that you want them to request proof that you are actually the one using the card. For this reason, it’s always best to not sign the back. For additional tips on how to protect yourself from credit card fraud, visit Credit.About and put “avoid credit card fraud” in the search field.