We’ve all been there. Frantically searching for our wallets as we imagine the criminal having the time of their life with our money. Some are lucky enough to actually find their wallets. Others, not so much. If you don’t immediately cancel your credit card, the results can be disastrous on credit reports. The last thing you want is for some criminal to ruin your credit report.
Not only is credit card fraud bad for your record, it can also be a stressful experience. You have to deal with getting a new credit card, losing funds, and changing several subscription settings. Turns out, you don’t have to be a professional hacker to offset fraud. In this article, we will be going over a few important tips for keeping your record safe.
Activate Two-Step Authentication
Two-step authentication is a precaution to take just in case somebody gets a hold of your credit card. This way, a criminal won’t have access to all of your accounts, even if they manage to get ahold of your wallet.
What is Two-Step Authentication?
The concept is pretty simple and you probably already use it. Two-step auth is an extra security measure when you sign in to your accounts. Have you ever had to enter in a code sent to your phone? There’s a reason for that. This makes it to where a hacker has to know both your login credentials and have access to your phone.
If somebody grabbed your password and tried to log in, a code would be sent to your phone. From here, it’s easy to assume that this wasn’t you. If the hacker doesn’t have your code, they can’t get into your account. Same goes for credit card information. Some services require you to enter a code from your phone when purchasing a product.
Activating Two-Step Verification
By default, two-step authentication usually isn’t turned on. If you want extra security, you need to dig into the setting and find out how to activate it. It’s smart to activate two-step verification for every service tied to your credit card. This may seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off if anybody ever decides to make an online purchase with your number.
Report a Missing Credit Card, Immediately
Your bank deals with these issues all of the time. In the event of an emergency, a good bank will come to your aid. If it ever comes down to it, make sure you have a quick way to contact your bank, whether that’s in person or through the phone.
When you report a missing credit card, they can immediately cancel it. They can also use their many resources to track down who has it and maybe even catch the criminal. If you report your credit card immediately, you have a bigger chance of getting your lost funds back. The sooner, the better.
Getting Rid of Your Numbers
Your credit card isn’t the only thing you need to keep safe.You need to keep track of your card number. After all, that’s all the criminal needs, along with your PIN. If you have your card number printed on any pieces of paper, shred them to bits. Think about what might contain your number.
Maybe credit card reports, receipts, and so on. Usually, companies will block most of your number, though it’s always good to double check. Also, never write down your number. If you absolutely have to, be sure to shred the piece of paper afterwards. You don’t want that number to get into the wrong hands.
Phishing is when a criminal will trick you into giving them sensitive information, including your number. You’ve probably seen some pathetic attempts in your lifetime. Maybe you received a phone call claiming that you have a virus on your computer. There are many well known phishing scams designed to grab your credit card number. Be extra cautious with anything that involves your number.
Some scams are more elaborate. For example, what if Netflix called you to ask for updated information. Never ever give out your number through the phone, even if it’s with a legit company. In most cases, somebody is impersonating that company.
Phishing Through Web Forms
There are also entire websites designed to look legit. Typically, the websites will contain forms asking for your information. A fake site can be spotted from a mile away. However, some fake websites can look quite convincing. You can make a website look exactly like Amazon and send links to products on that fake site. Luckily, catching a fake site or form is simple.
How to Spot a Fake Website or Form
There is one thing you need to look out for when entering your personal information. If you look to the left of the address bar(where you enter a website’s URL in), you’ll see a green padlock. This means the website is SSL secured.
SSL is just a fancy way of saying that your information is getting across securely. There is a process for becoming SSL secured, so a phony website cannot have that green padlock. Whenever you’re entering your information, look for that green padlock. If it’s not there, do not trust the website, even if it looks legit.
You can test this out by going to Amazon’s purchase page. Since Amazon is a legit company, they are SSL secured. The green padlock is the single best way to check the legitimacy of a credit card form.
Many people don’t realize how effective simple security solutions can be. By taking the correct precautions, you can ensure that a criminal won’t hurt your record. More importantly, your funds will be safe. Credit card fraud is a real issue and people need to take it more seriously. Those who don’t take it seriously can pay some serious consequences. That’s not you. You better get shredding! In the meantime, stay safe.