Identity theft and bank fraud tend to get many of the headlines with today’s internet age. However, the actions taken by victims that make the criminals’ lives easier are often overlooked. There is no other way to say it, many cardholders do stupid things that put them at unnecessary risk of having their credit card information stolen. The following are a few examples that illustrate what we mean, so that the next time, you can take better care of your credit card.
Using Your Card Number on an Unsecured Network
Online shopping is meant to be convenient, but it is supposed to provide you comfort from your own home, not from public spaces. Odds are that there is rarely a good reason where you have to make an online purchase or log in to your bank account on an open Wi-Fi connection. Inputting your credit card details online while using a guest network, such as in a coffee shop, is a horrible idea. Many times, these internet connections have poor security measures in place, or are not well maintained. This means hackers can easily access the server information and track your data. To be on the safe side, never store your password or credit card information on any site. It is more secure to always enter your card information.
Write Down, Email or Take a Photo
Writing down, emailing and taking a photo of your credit card are very bad ideas. You could misplace the paper, the email server could be hacked and the photo could be compromised, thus putting your credit card information at risk of falling into the wrong hands. As a general rule, the credit card itself should be the only physical item that contains the critical card information.
Giving the Number Over the Phone
Sometimes legitimate over the phone credit card transactions can take place. But these purchases should be done in a safe environment where strangers are not around. The reason is that in these transactions, the cardholder’s name, the card number, expiry date and CVV number are all shared and can easily be jotted down if in a public environment.
Cutting Up & Keeping the Pieces Together
The best way to get rid of a credit card once it is expired is to cut it up into small pieces and distribute the byproducts into more than one garbage. It may seem like a very annoying chore, but it is good practice and will greatly minimize the chance of a criminal getting their hands on all of the pieces and putting them back together to steal information.
Not Taking Advantage of the Rewards Program
Most credit cards these days offer the cardholder some sort of rewards program. Whether your credit card provides air miles, rewards points or cashback, not taking advantage of this program is like turning down something you paid for.