Guarding your credit card information may sound daunting but you have the power to protect your finances. Maintaining financial account security is paramount for making flexible purchases and covering unexpected costs. Any breach can be a threat to your planned payments. Consider several easy ways to increase your credit card security and prevent disruptions to your busy life.
Use Strong Passwords
Your credit card accounts are protected by good passwords. Research best practices for password creation. These may include using numbers or symbols and avoiding personally associated words or names. Enable zero trust systems like two-factor authentication and decline to save passwords for autofill on your devices. When you choose to use two-factor authentication, you will be required to have access to your phone or email every time you log in. Do not record your password in a readily discoverable location.
Monitor Your Account
Keep an eye on your account. You should log in online frequently and scan for unusual activity. Although most companies will send fraud alerts via text or email, you may catch signs earlier by noting unfamiliar purchases. Use secure phone applications to check your accounts on the go and make smart consumer decisions. Always verify that the developer of such an app matches your bank or credit card company.
Resolve Vulnerabilities Quickly
Act on suspicious activity with expediency. The longer someone has access to your account, the more damage they can wreak. Know the contact information for your bank or credit card company so that you can call them from work or home. Speaking over the phone may prompt employees to address your case sooner than if you alert them in writing. Notify the company immediately if you lose a credit card so that they can cancel it and quickly send you a new card.
Notify Your Bank If You Move
Updating personal information attached to your bank or credit account can make it more challenging for fraudsters to catch up to you. Keep your most current address and contact information on file and note changes in real-time.
Optimize Network Security
Ensure that your home network is as secure as possible. Require new users to access Wi-Fi with a password that only you can change. Using effective firewalls and anti-virus protection on your computer devices is essential for security. Try to access your bank and credit company accounts while on your personal secure network to mitigate the risk of nefarious entities getting their hands on your information.
Online merchants come in all different levels of trustworthiness. Well-known websites with reputations for good security are typically reliable bets. Search for reviews of their services if you have any doubts. Smaller websites and purchase forms that require unusually detailed information should be regarded with caution. Look for websites that may be imitating legitimate businesses. Using a service like PayPal or Apple Pay can create a buffer of banking safety to cancel a purchase and avoid losing money to fraudulent operations.
Be Vigilant While Traveling
Coffee shops, libraries, and airports are not places to conduct online banking. Public Wi-Fi places too many security factors outside of consumers’ hands. Hackers can potentially observe your actions and collect your data without your knowledge. You may choose to use a virtual private network (VPN) if you are traveling and need to access credit card account information. This makes it harder for others to track your online activities while accessing unfamiliar networks.
Protect Sensitive Data
Take action to ensure that your receipts and account numbers do not fall into the wrong hands. Secure or destroy old credit cards and never throw them into the trash whole. Store receipts in a safe place if you need them for financial records and shred them when they are no longer required. Any account numbers on unclaimed receipts or promotional offer mailings are a risk to your credit security.
Look over your credit card habits and solidify your security through decisive action.