Advertising
Advertising

8 Credit Card Security Tips You Should Not Miss

8 Credit Card Security Tips You Should Not Miss

Recently, I bought a jacket at Ralph Lauren in New York City (an admittedly extravagant gift to myself for finally finishing my first book). At checkout, the clerk asked me to fill out a contact form. “No thanks,” I said. “I don’t like to give out my email address.”

“We won’t spam you,” he said. “It’s just to notify you when new items become available.”

After I briefly explained how spam works, and that notifying me of the availability of new items not only constitutes spam, but pretty much defines it, the clerk smiled politely and said “no problem.” As he went into the back to run my card, I noticed a second clerk standing nearby. He’d overheard our little back-and-forth and was smiling wryly to himself. Finally, he couldn’t hold it anymore. “You know they can get to you through your credit card anyway, right?”

Advertising

This gave me pause. I did know that, didn’t I? I mean, if a business wants to spam me, they can easily figure out my contact info from a purchase I’ve made. And that’s when a second, more insidious thought struck: If it’s that easy to spam someone after they use their credit card, how easy would it be to steal their identity?

When it comes to credit cards, there’s a whole universe of information out there, and much of it consists of black holes. That is to say, most of us simply don’t know what we realistically should or should not be concerned about. Sure, none of us want our identities stolen, our accounts hacked, our emails spammed—but what exactly are the risks and what can we do to mitigate them?

Following are 8 essential security measures we should all be taking with respect to credit cards. These tips will help us avoid spammers and identity thieves alike.

Advertising

1. Treat your cards like cash.

Would you hand a bartender a pile of cash and say “I’d like to open a tab?” So why do that with a credit card? We tend to treat cards differently than cash because they’re plastic. And hey, if someone snags your card, what’s the worst that could happen? Well, it’s called identity theft, and it ain’t a walk in the park. To avoid this, start thinking of and treating your credit cards like cash. Don’t leave them lying around or in the hands of strangers. Yes, this makes life slightly more annoying, but just think of how annoying it would be if someone snatched your card and copied or cloned it. Remember, a credit card is like a pile of cash. Treat it as such.

2. Only buy from trusted websites.

Online shopping is all the rave these days, and often times we enter our credit card information without giving it a second thought. That’s basically an identity thief’s wet dream. To keep the wolves at bay, make sure you check for security signs from whatever site you’re shopping from. These include a URL that begins with ‘https’ instead of the standard ‘http.’ That ‘s’ stands for ‘secure,’ which means the site uses encryption code when transmitting data online. Also check the page for a lock symbol or security firm icon from a trusted firm like Verisign or McAfee. Those symbols indicate a secure site.

3. Be careful when you travel.

The universal language isn’t English anymore—it’s code. That means that a hacker can snag your personal information from anywhere in the world. So be sure to be extra cautious when you travel. Only use your card at bank ATMs and trusted retailers. Let your bank know where you’re traveling and what the dates are so they can notify you if there are any suspicious purchases. And always update your antivirus protection if you’re bringing a laptop with you.

Advertising

4. Avoid public computers and WiFi.

People love to go online shopping whenever the mood strikes. Sometimes this means shopping on a public computer or open WiFi network. This is extremely dangerous as these platforms are especially vulnerable. So here’s a neat little trick for you: Feel free to browse and comparison shop online when you’re on an open WiFi network, but don’t purchase anything. Wait until you’re on a secure server (your home computer) before making a purchase. This has the doubly-positive effect of helping to curb your impulse-buying habits! As for public computers, never enter credit card information on them. Hackers often install malware onto public computers specifically targeting online shoppers. Plus the computer’s cache can store your personal information, making it easier for someone to steal it.

5. Never save your credit card number.

I know, I know, that whole ‘1-click’ thing makes life super easy. But just think of how easy you’re making the life of a hacker or spam-artist by storing your credit card info on a retailer’s server. Remember that massive customer breach of Target not long ago? Sure, identity thieves can strike anywhere. But storing your information with a retailer is like standing in the middle of a war zone with a giant bullseye painted on your back. Better to take the time to input your card info for each and every purchase (this also helps curb impulse-buying, by the way).

6. Keep your PIN number safe.

This one is obvious, but bears repeating anyway. You should never ever EVER give out your PIN to anyone, ever. Not your parents, not your friends, not your priest or rabbi. Not even if God herself came down from heaven and demanded you hand it over. Sorry God, no exceptions here. The ‘P’ in PIN stands for personal. Make sure to keep it that way.

Advertising

7. Be wary at the ATM.

Thieves love to hang out at ATM terminals with devices that can snatch your card info – sometimes electronically. They use counterfeit cards with magnetic strips to clone your information and make fraudulent purchases. So be wary whenever you use ATMs. Always shield your PIN number from view, never accept help from anyone, and if a sketchy dude or dudette is hanging around the ATM machine, it might be best to move on to the next one.

8. Watch out for phishing scams.

A phishing scam is any scam that lures a potential victim into giving away personal information which can then be used to steal their identity. A popular example is the follow-up email from a retailer you recently made a purchase with. If you receive an email claiming there was a problem with your order, and you need to resubmit your credit card info or input the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, a red flag should go up. Any legitimate retailer that needs additional information to complete your order will ask you to return to the site and submit information on an encrypted page (and this information will never be your Social Security number). When in doubt, call the customer service number to speak directly with a representative.

While the whole idea of identity theft may seem scary and invasive, the fact remains that we live in a brave new world when it comes to personal information. More and more of our information is being stored in more and more places around the world, which makes it that much easier for thieves and spammers to acquire it. But don’t be discouraged, and don’t throw in the towel. While you can never completely eliminate the possibility that your information will be stolen, you can reduce the likelihood of such an event occurring. All it takes is a little awareness and a willingness to take the necessary precautions.

Featured photo credit: _Dinkel_ via Flickr via flickr.com

More by this author

8 Credit Card Security Tips You Should Not Miss

Trending in Money

1 10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money 2 How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide) 3 9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life 4 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 5 How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 1, 2020

10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

Elite Daily have got some great points as to why you should chase down your dream job, regardless of how much the wage is. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your career, maybe it’s because you’re on a path that doesn’t connect with your passion? Maybe it’s time to steer right off that road and take a different route:

Money is a very powerful thing, it builds empires and breaks down kingdoms, it allows for dreams to come true and it takes others away, it makes some people happy and others completely miserable. Today the pursuit of money is almost directly linked to the pursuit of happiness, many will argue that money = happiness.

However, this is inherently problematic as this mindset leads many people to stray down a path that doesn’t best suit them. When people choose their careers, they are sometimes blinded by money and so choose to follow the paper trail. Although money is great and can buy us all the things that will temporarily make us happy, no amount of money can buy time. Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away

This generation is particularly in trouble because jobs are scarce and many of us will be stuck doing jobs we hate just because we need money. Although this may be the right move for our careers now, this shouldn’t be something we do for the rest of our lives. it is best we search for something we are passionate about. Here are the 10 reasons why you should follow your passion and not the money.

Advertising

1. Working for money may seem like good enough motivation for one to keep at their career.

Every morning Monday through Friday you go to work 9 to 5 sitting their punching away the hours stressing about the work at hand. This is not a way to enjoy your life. Working for 8 hours a day 5 times a week at something that makes you miserable is not the way you live life to the fullest.

Many people who choose careers that don’t make them happy will tell you that they would all do it differently if they had the chance. You only have one life, so don’t waste it working somewhere you hate just because of the money.

2. You’re more passionate about the work you are doing.

There is nothing worse than having to wake up every morning during the week to mindlessly go do work you don’t even care about. However, this is never really an issue when you are passionate about the work you do. If you are not forced to work somewhere because of monetary constraint, you truly enjoy what you do and you never really work a day in your life.

3. You can relate more to the work and come up with better ideas.

Being forced to do work is one of the most draining experiences. While there are times at every job where you may feel the work may be draining and dull, you have to realize that not every day is going to be an enjoyable one. There are highs and lows, but when you are passionate about the work you you look past the dull days. Your creative process is also different. You are more inclined to come up with creative ideas when you like what you do.

Advertising

4. Work doesn’t feel like it’s forced upon you.

When you value money over your overall health and your passion, you will find yourself in an endless cycle of misery. Work no longer becomes a career or a journey, but more of a  taxing nuisance on your mind and body that has to get done.

Every day that you go to work with this mindset you begin to hate your job more and more. While many people feel that they must work hard to retire and have money to enjoy themselves, what’s the point of enjoying yourself in your later years when you spent your life being miserable?

5. No matter how much money you make, nothing will help you overcome the feeling of doing something you hate.

Many accountants come into corporate America, put in reckless hours during the week and make a great paycheck on pay day. Many of them have all this money piled up, but they never really get to enjoy the fruits of their labor because their labor takes up most of their lives.

Many of them hate their jobs because they aren’t really passionate about what they do. Is there a worse feeling than doing something you hate? Eventually this hatred will cause stress and in the long run, it will have lasting effects on your health.

Advertising

6. You are more inclined to work later hours.

When you work somewhere that you are passionate about, putting in later hours isn’t as much of a burden as it is when you don’t like what you are doing. To you, putting in the extra hours doesn’t hurt as much because you don’t feel like you are forced to do it, which makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

Every industry has a busy season and without a doubt there will come a time when you will need to put in the extra hours. Will it be easier for you to work longer on something you can relate to or something you can’t stand doing?

7.You are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Certain obligations at your work will require you to go above and beyond the call of duty. In certain times during the busy seasons, you may be asked to do certain tasks that are not part of your everyday schedule. It is much easier for you to put in the extra work if it’s something you actually care about. Because you are passionate about your job, you will be willing to put in the extra effort to go beyond what is required of you.

8. No obstacle will stop you from achieving success.

When you really enjoy what you do, nothing will stop you from getting your work done. Because you are passionate about what you do, you feel unstoppable and nothing can obstruct you from achieving greatness. Your passion ignites your work, and like a rocket, it accelerates you past road blocks that may come about. Any obstacle that comes your way is accepted and fought off with a creative solution.

Advertising

9. Our working careers will consume most of our lives, so we might as well do something we enjoy.

You will spend a majority of your life working and there is no other way around this fact unless you are born into a wealthy family or marry rich. For the rest of us who weren’t fortunate enough, we will be spending a good portion of our lives working in order to make ends meet.

There is no way around this, so we might as well accept the cards we are dealt. Many people go about this the wrong way because they feel like work is something they have to do rather then something they can enjoy. Once you realize that your career should be something you enjoy, then you will lead a more happy and fulfilling life.

10. You will get more fulfillment when you finally make it.

There are few feelings better than achieving a level of success you set out for yourself. Nothing like crossing off your bucket list of goals you set out for yourself to achieve. When you finally reach the pinnacle, it is that much more enjoyable knowing you got there doing something you love. Remember work doesn’t have to be something that you hate doing, stay true to yourself and always do what makes you happy.

The 10 Reasons You Should Follow Your Passion And Not The Money | Elite Daily

Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

Read Next