(FinancialHealth.net) – You’ve probably heard at least one horror story about someone trying to use their debit card and finding it declined for insufficient funds; or someone who has received a dreaded call from the bank to ask about suspicious activity.
One of the most common types of credit card fraud occurs when a scammer obtains your credit card details and uses them in a place where the card being present isn’t necessary. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from this type of fraud.
Checking and Savings
If you’re trying to put money into savings, do it literally. Keep your checking and savings separate, and don’t allow for overdrafts from your savings. Keeping only what’s needed in the checking account with no ability to access savings through checking limits the potential for theft.
It also limits the amount of overspending that’s possible. Skip attaching a debit card to the savings account at all, so that it requires more time and effort to access those funds, but also prevents funds from savings being taken if funds in checking are compromised.
Some banks and credit card companies allow for two-step verification with every transaction. This means you receive an alert notifying you of a pending transaction, prompting you to enter a verification code within a certain timeframe.
Failure to enter the code will result in denied access to the account. The drawback is that this is a time-consuming process that can cause a delay when you’re standing in line.
Thieves and hackers often use phishing emails and deceptive sites to trick you into giving away your account information. You are directed to a site that looks like it belongs to your bank, but when you enter the information it is actually being sent to a scammer.
You may be asked to provide your social security number, driver’s license number, and debit or credit card account numbers – all things you might not think twice about giving your bank. The scammers will then use your information to make online purchases or open new accounts in your name.
Secure Your Passwords
Hackers often attempt to install malware on your computer, with tools they can use to monitor your keystrokes or access your personal information. You can protect yourself by running a routine virus and malware check on your computer to detect unwanted spyware.
Use hack-proof passwords that are easy for you to remember but almost impossible for anyone else to figure out. You can also add a plug-in, like 1Password.com to your browser, where you can store your passwords securely.
When you need the password, you simply get it from the plug-in by copying it and pasting it on the site where you’re making a purchase. Since you aren’t making the keystrokes for the password, scammers can’t monitor them.
Most banks and credit card companies have built-in fraud alerts to let you know anytime your cards are used. You can get alerts by phone, text, and/or email, so your credit card numbers stay safe and secure and you can take immediate action if you receive a suspicious alert.
Never underestimate the power of a hacker. They are becoming more skilled at their trade, especially as technology evolves. Staying one step ahead will help keep what your work so hard for safe and secure.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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