Credit and debit cards are a convenient way to pay. They are also used for withdrawing money from your accounts. Cards are part of the growing movement of paperless payments. They also enable online transactions. With the growing reliance on cards, it’s easy to take their safety for granted. Cards have inbuilt safety measures provided by financial situations. However, you can still take steps to ensure they remain safe.
How to keep your card safe
1. Keep your cards on you
Don’t let your card out of sight at the point of sale. It’s easy for card information to be stolen for fraudulent purchases online. If a cashier has a problem with your card and needs a different reader, instruct them to leave it with you. If they need to confirm your identity, accompany them to their offices, where they plan to make their verifications.
2. Change your PIN regularly
Every physical transaction involving your card requires a PIN. Some people may collect your PIN information, steal your wallet, and withdraw before you notice the card is gone. Changing your PIN reduces the risk of theft. Avoid writing your PIN in a notebook or any piece of paper where it can be found.
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3. Handle your card safely
Don’t let other people use your card unless you know they won’t misuse your funds. Never leave your card unattended. Some payments don’t require PIN verification, don’t let the attendant leave with your card. Report any card you find unattended to. Take it to the corresponding ATM or a bank’s security staff if convenient.
4. Don’t use questionable ATMs
When you need to withdraw cash, don’t use ATMs that don’t belong to trusted banks. They may not have security apparatus. Fraudsters can alter an ATM card reader to skim credit card information. Avoid ATMs in extremely public and unattended areas like petrol stations.
5. Limit online shopping
Use trusted retailers to make online purchases. Many banks flag international purchases from unknown websites, but one may slip through the cracks. Unsafe websites can be schemes to steal your information to sell to third-party merchants or use your information for unauthorised purchases. Don’t use public WiFi, and only use secure connections. In addition, don’t use websites that don’t have a padlock icon in the URL.
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6. Keep track of your statements
Set your cards and accounts to notify you whenever there’s a transaction. Whenever you receive your statements, keenly go through all the data. If you see any transaction you don’t recognise, notify your bank. Bank statements are also a great way to monitor your spending and remain within your budget. This makes it
7. Watch out for scams
Many fraudulent websites use wording that resembles existing companies. They also get similar logos and colouring. They lure users with emails, messages, and phone calls impersonating personnel from the bank. Some say that they saw illegal activity and need to confirm your identity and can get you to read out your card information or PIN. Banks only ask about your name, your ID or passport number, and the last transactions you performed.
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