Credit cards and debit cards offer many rewards. But they also open opportunities for thieves to steal your information and make fraudulent charges in your name. So it's important to understand ways in which you can help protect your credit cards and prevent your valuable account information from falling into the wrong hands.
Proper credit card protection begins with proper credit card organization. With each new credit or debit card you receive, you should make a list of your card's information, including account numbers and phone numbers for the issuing organization. Keep the list in a secure location, and be sure to update it as needed. In the event that any of your cards are lost or stolen, this list will enable you to easily contact your banks and creditors and provide them with information they need to cancel your cards.
Check your mail daily for account statements, or any communications regarding changes to your account. Your mailbox is an invitation for an identity thief in waiting. For added security, you should consider a mail slot, or a lock-box that allows your letter carrier to deliver your mail more securely than a typical unlocked box allows. In addition, when it's time to dispose of your account statements or any other communication that contains your personal account details, you should shred them utilizing a cross-cut or confetti-style shredder.
When leaving your house, you should only take the credit cards that you need. Carrying all of your credit and debit cards in your wallet or purse can expose you to unnecessary risk should these items become lost or stolen. You also don't want to send your credit card information through insecure lines of communication such as email. If making a purchase online, be sure that the site utilizes a secure server. And, above all, don't respond to any phone or email solicitations that appear to come from banks or other solicitors asking you to "verify" your card information. Many times, these solicitations are fraudulent and may deliver your information directly to criminals. In these instances, you should call the bank or creditor directly at the phone number you have on file to confirm the request and understand why your information is needed.
PrivacyGuard's daily credit monitoring scans your credit files at the three national credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and alerts you of new credit card accounts being opened in your name. If an account is opened that you did not authorize, PrivacyGuard has trained professionals on hand to help you set the record straight.