How to stay safe from credit card fraud: Simple steps you can take
Being aware of credit card fraud when you’re out spending is important, but there are also lots of things you can do at home to keep yourself safe too.
We know that no-one likes admin, but keeping on top of these four areas could help prevent you becoming the victim of fraud.
Check your statements…
Online banking means it’s easier now than ever to regularly check your transactions every few days. For your Zopa credit card, you can do this easily on your app. If you see something you don’t recognise, get in touch with your provider immediately to make them aware and potentially stop any further transactions going through.
Keep an eye on your credit report for any activity you don’t recognise too. The Money Advice Services suggests you do this monthly.
…and your post
If you get letters that you’re not expecting, particularly from a finance company, get in touch with the sender to make sure that someone isn’t dealing with them using your name and personal details.
Equally, if you’re expecting something like a paper statement or a new card and it doesn’t come, get in touch to see where it is, and make sure your personal details aren’t being sent elsewhere.
Do keep software up to date
We know these are annoying, but most software updates are primarily designed to help prevent malware attacks. Once you’re running an old version of a browser or operating system – either on a desktop computer or mobile device – then you become more vulnerable. Updating when those updates become available, e.g. monthly, is a good rule of thumb.
Review your passwords
Keep your passwords safe and ensure you’re not re-using your passwords across multiple accounts – for example using the same password for your online banking as you do for your local salon booking system – as these services are likely to have different security protocols and governance.
When you’re setting your passwords, experts now suggest that you create a long and complex password by using a phrase of at least four words – it is not a must to add in numbers or symbols. Passphrases are harder for hackers to guess and easier for you to remember.
Of course, some systems will insist that special characters – such as numbers and symbols – are a feature. So ideally, you’ll have options that you can remember with and without these additions.
Finally, set up multiple factor authentication where the supplier you’re using has this as a security feature. You can read more about that here.
Cut up your old cards
Finally, get out the shredder! Chop up any old cards you have lying around, making sure you cut through the chip and magnetic strip.
And while you’re at it, shred anything with your address on to make sure there’s nothing with your personal information on just sat outside in the bin. Equally anything that is unique to you and could be traced back – such as your national insurance number. Although this looks obscure, with the right access, someone could trace this back to you.
Check out our other blogs on spending safely on your credit card.