Credit cards, with their useful features, have become a necessity today. They offer not just financial freedom but also crucial support in emergencies. Whether it’s enjoying cashback rewards, interest-free periods, EMI options, or overdraft facility, credit cards make your financial life much more convenient.
Yet, with this convenience comes a drawback: credit card fraud. From basic hacking to advanced methods like skimming at petrol stations, infiltrating computers, or phishing through fake emails, credit card frauds take many forms, outsmarting even the latest technology.
So, how to protect yourself from credit card fraud?
From using a credit card EMI calculator for smart financial planning to setting a daily limit on transactions, here are key strategies to protect your credit cards online.
Follow safe online shopping practices
When you shop online, verify the website’s security. A safe URL begins with “https://” and displays a security symbol in the address bar. This setup shows that your data travels encrypted which may reduce the risk of interception. Avoid websites that lack these security indicators as they may expose your credit card information to theft.
Enter your credit card information manually
Do not store your credit card information on websites, especially while shopping online. It may seem convenient to save your details on websites for future transactions, but this increases the risk of cybercriminals accessing it without permission. Enter your credit card details yourself each time you make a transaction. This minimises the chances of your confidential information being stolen.
Dispose sensitive documents properly
Dispose all the physical documents that contain credit card details. Shredding is a safe method to turn sensitive documents into confetti. It is almost impossible for any fraudster to piece them back together. So, shred any documents that may have your credit card details like old statements, receipts, or expired cards.
Avoid easy guessable passwords
Set strong passwords for your online accounts, especially those linked to your financial data. Avoid obvious choices like birthdays, marriage anniversary dates, or simple sequences. Your password should have numbers, uppercase/lowercase letters, and symbols. Try to set a unique password for each bank account to stay protected and limit damage even if one gets compromised.
Check credit card statements
Make it a habit to check your credit card statements routinely. Report any differences to your credit card provider right away. When you detect fraudulent activity early, it helps you fix the issue quickly and limit losses.
To better understand and manage your EMIs, always use a credit card EMI calculator before making a big purchase. By regularly comparing your calculated EMIs against actual charges, you can quickly spot any errors or illegitimate transactions.
Stay alert to phishing attacks
Phishing also is another tactic used by cybercriminals to obtain credit card information. Some impersonate legal officers of banks so as to con you into disclosing your financial information. Thus, always verify the source before you reply to such emails or messages. If in doubt, contact the bank immediately via their official email, chat, or phone call.
Use Two-Factor authentication (2FA)
This means you need two steps to log in. First, your password. Second, a unique code sent to your mobile phone. So, even if someone gets your password, they will need that code too to access your account. Many banks and websites offer 2FA. Simply activate it in your settings.
As technology advances, so do the tactics of those trying to access your financial details illegally. Always remember, it is your money, so the responsibility to protect your finances falls on you as well. Make sure you take every needed step to avoid any financial disaster. Stay aware, stay safe, and take actions of your credit card security today.