Credit Card Security Tips
The use of credit cards has become a common occurrence in today’s world. As long as you keep your debt in check and pay your balance in full and on time, credit cards can be a smart and convenient resource. When using credit cards, you also want to make sure you’re taking every precaution to keep your identity and security intact. We offer basic credit card security tips to help keep you and your information protected.
Get an Early Start
Setting up a good security foundation early can help you avoid potential identity theft and credit card fraud. Choose a unique and secure password and PIN (personal identification number) for your credit card. Reusing the same passwords for your Digital Banking as you do for other accounts can leave you vulnerable and make it easier for someone to access your information. We recommend creating a strong password using both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Never use personal information, such as part of your social security number or your date of birth as your PIN. Use the steps in our Digital Banking Guide to change your passwords and add an extra layer of protection to your credit cards.
Stay Secure Online
Since the beginning of the pandemic, online shopping has become the more convenient and favored option to consumers around the world, but it’s important to be mindful of the best security practices before making your purchases. When shopping online, use websites that contain “https” in its URL. The “s” indicates that the website you’re using is secure and safe to continue with your shopping. Whether you’re shopping online or just handling business within Digital Banking, it’s best to avoid using public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure which means anyone will be able to view your encrypted data. You should only use secure networks to keep your information protected.
Set Account Alerts
Go the extra mile to protect your credit cards by setting up account alerts for certain activity that takes place. Our Card Guard app is perfect for adding that extra layer of security to your Robins Financial debit and credit cards. This app allows you to turn your cards on and off from your phone, set alerts based on transaction amount, and also match your location so that if you were to use your card in an unusual destination, your phone’s GPS can send your location to Visa and avoid having your transaction declined. We also offer our Falcon Fraud Prevention Services in an effort to protect members’ accounts even further. If potential fraud is detected on your account or an unusual purchase has been made with your Robins Financial debit or credit card, our Falcon Fraud Service will attempt to contact you. They may contact you via email, phone call, or most recently introduced, through our Falcon Fraud text alerts. This system will ask verifying questions to identify you as well as have you confirm whether the activity was done by you or is fraudulent. To ensure that you receive these messages from Falcon Fraud Prevention, please verify and update your contact information in Digital Banking and opt-in for card fraud text alerts. Take advantage of these security features to protect your credit cards and accounts.
Review Your Transactions
You don’t have to wait for your monthly statement to review your credit card transaction history. Be proactive by logging into your Digital Banking at least once a week to check for any fraudulent charges. Even small, suspicious charges should not be ignored. While an unrecognized charge of less than $5 may seem insignificant, it’s worth looking into. Most credit card fraud starts out as a series of small purchases to see if a card is still active and available for use. Larger fraudulent purchases are likely to follow if their activity goes unnoticed. Credit card thieves may also use devices known as “skimmers” to collect your card information at places such as ATMs or automated gas pumps. Skimmers fit over the card slot or PIN pad and look much like the normal insertion machine. Since these devices are hard to detect, it’s important to monitor your bills for suspicious activity. Learn more about protecting your cards from skimmers.
Keep Your Cards Safe
Keep your credit cards close to you in a secured place such as your wallet or a specific place in your purse. Don’t stick your card somewhere where you won’t know exactly where it is, as that will make it more difficult for you to realize if it is actually lost. Never leave your credit cards exposed for any longer than necessary. Putting them away immediately after they are used will prevent prying eyes from catching a glimpse of your card information for fraudulent transactions. If you have multiple credit or debit cards, only carry the cards you will be using that day and leave the rest at home in a secure place. Carrying only the cards you need reduces your risk of theft and the potential damages of fraudulent charges and frozen cards if your wallet is lost or stolen.
It’s important to notify your credit card company or financial institution immediately if you notice fraudulent activity in your account or purchases made with your credit card. The safety and security of our members is top priority, but protecting your information works best when we have your help. To learn more about how you can protect yourself and your accounts, watch our Scams and Frauds playlist on YouTube.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.