It is important to learn how to use a credit card safely because credit card usage is very common and convenient. If the user is responsible and is careful about how the credit card is used he can save himself a lot of misery and control card misuse.
Credit card fraud is rampant and the banks are introducing a lot of safety measures to control the fraud, but the fraudsters are more advanced in technology and this makes it more challenging for the banks.
With the introduction of EMV based smart chip in the card and the recent dual factor authentication for most of the transaction type, the transactions are more safe but never the less there are many countries were the card safety is still not up to the mark. Thanks to the technology for making the card more safe, but it is safe only till it is hacked. It is critical that the card holders also follow the safety measures as advised on the card safety. It is better to be safe than be sorry, and so safety is the responsibility of the card holder.
Simple Dos and Don'ts
The credit card PIN number and the OTP should never be shared with or given to anyone, simply because it is unnecessary for anyone other than the user. The PIN and OTP should never be given over the telephone or in response to an e-mail invariably, it is the crooks who ask for such information and banks will never ask for such sensitive information. When making a credit card payment while shopping the credit card user must insist on the portable payment device where he can enter the PIN number himself. It is necessary that the credit card is never out of sight when the shop assistant is processing the transaction. The credit card statement contains vital information about the bank account and should be filed away safely. Once the statement is read and no longer required it should be destroyed by using a paper shredder or by burning it. Never write down the PIN number and keep changing the PIN number periodically. Never select a PIN that is easy to crack. Never share the complete card no with others. Never share the back side copy of the card.
Credit Card Safety during Internet based transaction
It is important to understand that internet transactions are safe these days with the OTP and SMS notifications. If precautions are taken credit card fraud can be prevented. When applying for a credit card online the information given is sent and received in an encrypted format to ensure safety. When using the internet service provider's website please be sure that the URL (uniform resource locater) is 'https' and not simply 'http'. https ensures that the website is hosted on a secure and safe server and there is no danger of loss of privacy or personal account related information that can compromise the online transaction. It is reassuring to learn that applying online for a credit card is far safer than filling out an application form and sending it by conventional mailing methods. That is because more people are handling the mail and even a postal employee can access valuable personal, financial information without being detected. Always prefer to use the virtual keyboard against the physical keyboard to type the information.
Most service providers send an instant SMS notification and so keep the mobile no. updated with the bank. Also most of the banks provide access to the card account information online where transaction history, payment details and the facility to make online payment in real time is possible. The user does not have to wait for 3 days to check if the transaction has been updated or not. One can also report loss of card immediately. The account management systems are such that SMS messages and e-mail alerts are immediately sent whenever the credit card is used. Spending limits can be pre-set to avoid over spending.
Combat Phishing and Card data theft
Phishing is another method employed by crooks and scammers to steal credit card information and personal details. A harmless looking mail seemingly to have originated from reputed banks and reputed institutions like Banks, Merchants, Retails, Service providers asking you to update some personal information should set the alarm bells ringing. A fake link will lead the unsuspecting user to another page where the information given may be used to access the personal account. Or the e-mail will contain a prize announcement which requires a small payment by credit card and if the user is naive enough to furnish credit card information the unscrupulous identity thief can use that information to inflict severe damage. The threat with the card data theft is that this card data can be used to produce a new card and use it across the globe. The fraudsters choose to use the weaker security region to carry out the fraudulent transaction.
If it is understood on the credit card safety requirements, then the card holders will quickly adapt to the requirements. Careful usage and adherence to precautions can help the credit card holders to have a safe and happy experience. After all, the credit card is a handy payment tool for purchases made in a shopping mall or an internet website portal.