Preventing Credit Card Fraud

With constant reports in the media about massive data breaches and the incidents of identity theft continuing to climb, many consumers are feeling especially vulnerable these days. The truth is that no matter what you choose to do, there is little you can try that can completely eliminate the risk of being targeted by an identity thief. With technology continuously advancing, cyber criminals are becoming more and more crafty when it comes to finding ways to get at your personal information. The best way to protect yourself from credit card identity theft is to use your common sense.

When You Have to Shop Online

Many people choose to shop online for the convenience they provide. After you head off to a physical store, walk through the aisles, stand in line to make your purchase, and haul what you bought back to your home, you’ll probably be exhausted. This is why so many people are opting to make their purchases online. All of the inconveniences are eliminated and your merchandise can be delivered right to your door. If you find online shopping to be your preferred way of getting what you need, there must be some precautionary steps in place to give yourself an extra level of credit card identity theft protection.

Check Your Statements

Whether or not you expect that someone has gotten hold of your credit information, it is always wise to review your monthly bank and credit card statements. As a matter of fact, if you’re registered for online banking, you can actually check your account balances on a daily basis. Many companies will not only give info on your balances but they may also provide the information within minutes of the transaction actually going through. Make it a habit to review your statements frequently to make sure that no unusual or unauthorized activity has been put through.

Cancel Your Cards

If you discover that your accounts have been compromised, don’t hesitate to cancel the credit cards to prevent further activity from continuing. You can always get a replacement card and continue conducting business as usual. Once your information is compromised, however, you’ll need to change your PINs and security codes to make it a bit more challenging for the thief to try to get in your accounts again.

No matter what your particular situation may be, make sure that you never do your shopping in a public site. Many people decide to do this by using the free Wi-Fi hotspots that may be available nearby. It’s important to keep in mind that free Wi-Fi spots are not secure and can put your personal information at risk for credit card identity theft if you’re not careful. Experts on credit card identity theft are quick to tell you that if you must shop online, make sure that you use a secure Internet connection and that the companies that you do business with have done all they can to make sure that your personal information remains secure. It is vital to remember that there is no surefire way to prevent identity theft but you can take steps to protect yourself and minimize the damage that can result from becoming a victim of this crime.  Ensure you have top level credit monitoring protection services that will alert you in the event your identity is stolen.