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Keeping Your Credit Cards Secure


For many, credit cards are a preferred way to make purchases. While they have many benefits, there is also the risk that scammers will attempt to steal your account information. Here are some tips to help ensure your cards remain secure.


Although it’s convenient to shop on your mobile device, it is important to take precautions when making purchases away from home. It is not recommended to use credit cards when accessing a public Wi-Fi network. Public networks are usually unsecured, meaning that data transmitted over them is not encrypted. Hackers can easily intercept and steal sensitive information such as your card numbers and login credentials. To protect yourself when shopping online, only use credit cards over a secure private network connection or a virtual private network (VPN).


Have you added your credit card to a mobile wallet yet? This is a great option to increase its security, because it keeps your card number and other account information confidential from merchants. Services such as Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and PayPal® will encrypt your transactions so your information is not shared. This means it can’t be leaked if the merchant’s computer systems are hacked and helps minimize the number of places that may store your card information.


Phishing is a form of fraud in which a scammer attempts to obtain sensitive data (such as your credit card information) by posing as a legitimate business or financial institution. The scammer will typically reach out to a potential victim through emails, phone calls, and/or text messages. They might send a message that appears to be from a bank or credit card company, asking the recipient to click a link or respond with personal information. With that information in hand, they can make unauthorized purchases or steal the victim’s identity. The best way to avoid becoming a phishing victim is to never give out your card information unless you initiated the communication yourself.


Knowing what transactions are being charged to your account is fundamental to credit card safety. Check your recent account activity routinely to make sure that the listed transactions were actually made by you. This can help you catch fraudulent purchases early. Review your activity online, over the phone, or through your card issuer’s app. SLFCU credit card and debit card holders can set up alerts to track activity on their accounts.

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