Keeping our identities secure becomes more and more difficult with each passing year, as technology makes it easier and easier for others to attempt to gain access to your credit card information. While some instances of identity theft and credit card fraud cannot be avoided (for example, when hackers break into a major financial institution's servers), for many, the risk of credit card fraud is augmented by certain behaviors and actions. You can minimize these instances where you could be vulnerable and help safeguard your financial security.
Always Sign Your Cards
Whenever you receive a new debit or credit card, make sure to sign the back of each card as this is the only indicator that the card is valid and held by the actual owner. Some stores will check for the signature prior to using the card and may compare it with the signature on your driver's license.
Store Your Cards Separately
By keeping your cards separate from where identity thieves first look, you can reduce the likelihood that any of your credit card data can be stolen. One example that can be used is a compartmentalized folder or booklet that can be easily folded up and stored in a pocket or jacket when out on the go. If you carry a purse traditionally, using a method like this can also reduce the weight you have to carry around while out shopping.
Keep An Eye On Your Card
Whenever you hand your card to a cashier, teller or other individual, keep an eye on where you card is at all times. Some shifty individuals will copy your information down if given the chance, so make sure to watch where they go with your card and to make sure that no personal information is recorded during the transaction.
Verify Receipts with Your Statement
With the role of online banking and statements, there is absolutely no excuse not to keep tabs on your spending. By checking your statement daily after making any purchases, you can verify that the balances charged match the receipts you received and the price you were quoted at the register.
Don't Lend Your Cards
A large plurality of identity theft and credit card fraud actually comes from people who know the victim, so it is important to safeguard your cards no matter how comfortable you may feel with someone. Never give out your PIN and always make sure your cards - even if simply loaning to a friend at a gas station - are promptly returned immediately after the transaction is complete.