This digital age gives you access and permission to have everything you want on your fingertips; however, many people still underestimate and misjudge the power of technology.
To some set of people, technology enables convenience and to others, it is used as a tool to take advantage of the less savvy.
Financial security is not to be underestimated, here are five smart and lesser-known ways to protect your debit card:
Look for skimmers
A classic way fraudsters extract card information from people is by using skimmers on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) machines. These slim devices are attached to the spot where the card is dipped/swiped and the information on the card is obtained. This is not overly possible with the recently made chip-based debit cards which encrypt information differently. Therefore, make sure that you have the latest type of debit card and watch out for skimmers.
Report any suspicious activity
Once a fraudster gets hold of your card, they will exploit it in a matter of minutes. The first thing you should do if you lose your card or if it is stolen is to report it to the Credit Union immediately for it to be blocked.
This poses a slight inconvenience of around a week or more till you get a new card. However, it is worth the wait for you to ensure that your money is safe. Similarly, if there are card transactions that you didn’t authorize or are unaware of, take action immediately by reporting it to the Credit Union. This is the reason why you need to read the text and email messages you receive from your Credit Union and do a monthly check on your online transactions.
Do not disclose sensitive information to anyone
Although this has been said over and over again, it can never be said too much. On no account should you share confidential data of your card or reveal transaction details with anyone, either in person, online or on the phone. Beware of phishing, where scammers impersonate executives/workers of financial institutions and request for your card information – which shouldn’t be shared with genuine executives and staffs either.
Don’t share too much information on social media
Though you may be excited about publishing your birthday on social media for you to receive wishes from friends, the cons of this are greater than the good side – especially in terms of identity theft. Imagine a situation where your card gets stolen by a fraudster, he or she can get your birth date, mother’s maiden name, pet name etc. from your social media accounts. It is simple for this fraudster to call your financial institution and claim your identity (by answering verification questions of your name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, email address, phone number etc.) and misuse your account. Therefore, it is advised that you use caution you share your personal data and details on social media platforms.
Don’t Email Your Card Number
Some email hackers employ search tools that scan for strings of numbers likely to be debit card accounts.
Any time you write or type your debit card number and give it to someone in an unsecured, unencrypted manner (including on a piece of paper), you increase your risk of exposure.
Some businesses, including vacation home websites, ask to hold your credit card number as a sort of deposit or guarantee. While not unusual, this isn’t very safe — and you should seek alternatives.