‘Tis the season to practice credit card security

The holiday shopping frenzy is underway and consumers can use credit or debit cards with a higher level of confidence by following security safety tips offered by Northwest credit unions:

In-store purchases:

EMV chip cards provide an extra layer of security when you pay at stores. Not all merchants have chip readers, though. If they don’t yet support it, use your card but continue to monitor your transactions daily.

Take advantage of online account monitoring services. Report any suspicious or unauthorized activity immediately.

Be sure your card is returned following each purchase and that it is your card.

Wait for the card receipt. Never leave it at the checkout counter; and keep receipts with you, not in your shopping bags.

Check your statements and watch for multiple or incorrect charges. Compare receipts to your account statements, then destroy your receipts.

Keep a list of your account numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are missing. Keep the list in a secure place.

Make sure you have signed your credit and debit cards. Do not write your PIN on the card.

When entering your PIN, block the keypad from the view of others.

PINs can be stolen in other ways. There is a heat signature left on non-metal keypads for several minutes after you use it. Infrared cameras installed on smart phones can be used to measure this heat signature and obtain your PIN. Stop this fraud by resting your fingers on other keys while typing in your PIN.

Running your card as credit rather than debit is another way of protecting your PIN.

Online Shopping:

Do not use public wireless networks for online purchases.

Use a secure Internet connection.

Shop on sites with https:// in the URL, and be sure that an icon with a lock appears to the left. The “s” stands for “secure” and indicates data is encrypted.

Type the merchant’s address directly into your browser; avoid links.

Use complicated passwords with at least eight characters. Include numbers, special characters and upper and lower case letters.

Keep your computer and mobil device antivirus and security software updated.

Don’t store your payment information. Many websites or apps let you store your credit and debit card information for convenience, but this might also be too convenient for thieves.

Don’t respond to pop ups, nor share card information via email or texts.

Set up payment and purchase alerts via text and email. If you notice suspicious activity, report it immediately.

 

Originally Posted on Union Bulletin