Learning Centre

We want to help you stay uniquely you, which is why we’ve gathered some articles to give you better insight into identity theft and to help you understand how you can best protect yourself and your credit

Tips for Protecting your Credit Card Online and On-the-Go

Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring

Imagine you’re about to make a purchase. You could be anywhere: talking to the cashier at the grocery store, paying the bill at a restaurant or sitting in front of your computer in the living room. No matter how you’re making the purchase, all of the scenarios involve one common element: your credit card. Whether you’re swiping it yourself, handing it to someone else to run through the machine or entering the digits online, your card is the key to enabling most financial transactions you make.

Protecting your card is crucial if you hope to avoid credit fraud or identity theft, since in many cases your card information is all a criminal needs to place fraudulent charges on your account and ruin your credit score. In this post, we’ll outline a few tips you can use to better protect your card, no matter where you use it.

Protect your PIN

  • Always cover the keypad when entering your Personal Identification Number at an ATM or point of sale.
  • Never share your PIN. Merchants never require you give them your PIN, even if you’re paying online or over the phone.
  • Choose a strong, unique PIN. Never use information like your birth date, social insurance number or phone number to create your PIN, as having one stolen could compromise the other. Plus, make sure you do not also use the same PIN as any other secret number, such as the code you use to lock your phone or the PIN for another credit card.
  • Memorize your PIN. Writing your PIN down can make it more vulnerable to theft.
  • Change your PIN if you believe it or your card has been compromised.

Protect your card

  • Keep your card on your person at all times when not at home. Even if you are simply getting up to use the restroom or retrieve documents from the printer at work, make sure you don’t leave your card behind in a bag or wallet
  • Do not lend your card to anyone.
  • When traveling or sightseeing, secure your card in a zippered pocket and keep it close to your body at all times.
  • Whenever you hand your card to a cashier to complete a transaction, make sure you receive the proper card back before walking away.
  • Call your bank to report any lost or stolen cards immediately. They can cancel your cards and place a fraud alert on your account to help protect your account.

Protect your card information

  • Avoid shopping online over a public Wi-Fi network. Fraudsters can take advantage of the unsecured connection to steal your credit card information while the transaction is taking place, or even as soon as you log into the account.
  • Turn off auto-login features on accounts in which you have stored payment information. As convenient as it can be to not have to enter your password every time you sign in, an unsecured account is like an open door for cyber criminals.
  • Protect your online accounts with strong, unique passwords. That way, even if a fraudster manages to gain access to one of your accounts, your others will be protected by their own passwords.

Protect your credit account

  • Keep a regular eye on your credit files and account statements. If you see any purchases or activity that looks unfamiliar, call your bank right away.
  • Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Credit monitoring companies can alert you when they notice certain activity on your accounts that may indicate fraud, giving you a chance to place a credit alert on your account and dispute any fraudulent charges.

Learn more about Credit Alert's identity protection tools, contact us today.