Recently we asked our Facebook followers if their credit card number has ever been stolen:
- 76 % have been lucky with their credit card never ending up in the wrong hands.
- 11 % have experienced a theft in the “offline” world.
- 7 % have had their credit card number stolen online.
- 6 % have had their credit card number stolen, but don’t know where it happened.
Personally, I belong to the last group. While I was happily picking blueberries in a Finnish forest, someone else was doing shopping on my account in the US for over a thousand dollars! (This happened before I started using WOT.) Here are some tips to save you from the unwanted experience.
Tips to keep your credit card number safe
1) Think carefully before giving it out
The best way to avoid your credit card number being stolen is not to give it to anyone. Often hotels, rentals and others ask for your number just to confirm your reservation. Sometimes you can bypass that simply by making your reservation over the phone and paying in person. Before giving out your credit card number, think carefully if it’s really necessary.
2) Give your credit card number only to trustworthy websites
If you decide to give out your credit card number, make sure you only give it to someone you can trust. Make sure that the site uses a secure connection (https://), see the WOT rating (especially for vendor reliability), and use your own judgment.
3) Prefer known third-party payment providers
If you make your payment through a third-party payment provider such us PayPal, the payment receiver doesn’t get direct access to your credit card number.
4) Be aware of scams that offer “credit card protection”
Here’s something to think about: Everything related to securing your credit card is also a popular destination for scammers. They know you worry about your credit card, and make use of it in email scams and phishing, for example. Legitimate banks and credit card providers never ask for your credit card number via email, not even to make sure it’s secured.
5) Check your credit account regularly for suspicious activity and inform your credit card provider immediately if you spot something
Sometimes you only notice that your credit card number is stolen when it’s too late. See my example above; all that time I had my credit card in my own pocket! Keep your credit card provider’s contact information within reach and inform them immediately if you notice anything weird.
Do you have a tip of your own? Please share with us in the comments!