With technology and online transactions becoming deeply integrated in our daily lives, one can simply imagine the many ways how our personal information and privacy can be leaked or tampered with, intentionally or not. In one of our previous posts, we have shared with you how you can secure your online shopping and payment transactions. This time, we will focus more on your use and habits associated with your credit cards. As you know by now, your credit card contains some of the most privileged and sensitive information about your financial activities and status. There are so many things a hacker can do, if they get access to this kind of information. So, beware.
At any given point in time, security threats or breaches can happen, and whether this may or may not affect you is – believe it or not, greatly up to you. You may have heard about the phrase “responsible spending” once or twice before. We are going to talk about this in the perspective of one of today’s methods of spending and consuming products or services: paying with a credit card.
Here are the general guidelines to help maintain your credit card security.
1. Use a VPN when shopping over the net
If there is an all-powerful solution to ensure data security and privacy, there’s no doubt that that is only through the use of a powerful VPN like VPN Surf. With a VPN, all the information (including the privileged and sensitive ones) gets encrypted as it is transmitted online to carry out your transactions and other basic activities (i.e. on Facebook, Google, etc.) on various websites. With a VPN’s encryption technology, hackers cannot steal your data even if they do manage to crack into your network. Therefore, not only will you remain anonymous online, your information will also be kept secure from identity thieves. Also, apart from signing on with a VPN service, it’s also good practice to clean up your device on a regular basis and to set up an up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware program on your device.
2. Always Read the Fraud Protection Policy of Your Credit Card
It always helps to read any product/service’s fraud protection policy (especially those which involve the use of gathering data over the internet and such), if there’s any. What you need to look out for in your credit card’s fraud protection policy is its security feature against fraudulent transactions. So in the event that you lose your card or if it gets stolen, you’ll have some kind of defence and protection. And while this may be your last line of defence, it’s still better than nothing. Also, look for a bank with a credit card which allows you to not have any liability should you lose your card or if it gets stolen. Therefore, when you apply for a new card, be sure to check their policies so you can be protected against scams.
3. Use “Virtual” Credit Cards
If you live off on the internet to pay your bills and process your transactions, then you may want to consider getting a virtual credit card. Virtual credit cards are disposable and are ideal for making online purchases because you can select the number of transactions you can make with them. After you’ve maxed out the set number of transactions, the card will become invalid. So, even if a hacker gets access to the information on your virtual card, they still won’t be allowed to make any purchases. And lastly, virtual credit cards also come with fraud protection policies so be sure to go through them when you decide to get one.
4. Use a Gift Card or Gift Cheques
You’ll notice that some shops get more credit card transactions than others on a daily basis. If that is the case, then consider these stores as “main targets” for cyber fraud. But if you happen to go to any of these stores regularly for your purchases, it’s best to use a gift card for those stores. This is a precautionary measure to protect you from information breaches in the event that the store’s system and data get compromised. This will ensure your actual credit card’s safety and privacy, as fraudsters can only get access to the limited cash amount on your gift card. Additionally, if you make this a habit, you may also pile up reward points from your gift card purchases which could also spell bigger savings for you.
There are other simple ways that you may have neglected upon receiving and throughout the course of your credit card usage. Some of these include signing your card, keeping your card numbers private, checking your receipts and updating your information accordingly. Other than these basic guidelines you can, making sure that you make purchases from secure online platforms is a must for any consumer who uses the internet. If you follow these guidelines and make them a habit, chances are you are a certified “responsible online consumer”.
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