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How to use your credit card safely

How to use your credit card safely

October 20, 2016
credit card
Source: Shutterstock

The old, outdated, less secure magnetic swipe system is slowly but surely making way for security chip technology. Credit card companies all over the country have recently started to use this new, safer system. The change will shift the responsibility of fraud to retailers that do not provide chip technology to their customers. They might not like it, since chip technology is slower than the old magnetic swipe, but it’s inevitable. And it will make it a lot harder for criminals to steal your information and your money.

But what impact will this change have on the user? Will card holders relax and start paying less attention to how they use their cards, or will they become more responsible and more vigilant?

No matter what happens, and no matter how safe your credit card is, you should always monitor your account and your spending activity. Only this way will you really be safe. Remember, when it comes to your finances, you can never be too safe.

Credit card safety tips

The best way to protect yourself is to avoid using credit cards at places with questionable security. Such places include any unattended self-service terminal where thieves can place skimming devices, but also bars and restaurants, where customers often hand their credit cards to those working them, trusting that they will do their jobs the right way. At such places, it’s better to use cash.

Another thing you should definitely avoid is saving your credit card information online. Entering your information every time you use your card is definitely annoying. It’s a waste of time. But it’s also safer. It probably goes without saying, but it’s a lot better to lose a few seconds of your life entering some numbers in a box, than to lose your money.

When buying from online retailers, check to see if they have a secure system. You can do this by verifying if the HTTPS prefix is present in front of the website address. If it is, you’re good to go.

Finally, you need to keep an eye on your accounts. Checking them frequently is a good way to make sure that there are no problems. And nowadays this is really easy, since there are numerous free apps and services out there that allow you to do just that.

Gary Morgan

Gary Morgan is a Britain transplant. Finance background, enjoys tea, politics and soccer (or football for everyone across the pond). Get in touch with him via email

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