Credit cards are becoming the go to way to pay. With everyone using credit cards, there has been a growing concern for your safety with using them. How do you know when your credit card information is safe and when it’s not? Is it safe to use credit cards online?

Read on to get some answers…

First off, let me clear something up. Using your credit card online can actually be safer than using it at brick and mortar businesses.

Example: one of the common ways people have their credit card information stolen is at restaurants since servers will often take your card out of site to charge it.

So how can you prevent that?

The first thing you should be doing is watching your finances closely. It’s not overkill to check your banking account online everyday. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a day, but the important thing is that you are always watching what goes in and comes out of your bank account.

A Gateway to Identity Theft

Once people have your credit card information, usually they will just spend your money until the card is locked, but it can actually be worse! They can use it as the first step towards stealing your identity, especially if they got more than credit card information in the first place.

If someone has your credit card information, you usually don’t know how they got it, so you don’t know how much more information they have.

Credit Card Safety
Here are 6 tips from TransUnion on how to prevent identity theft:

  1. Only carry essential documents with you.
  2. Keep new checks out of the mail.
  3. Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone.
  4. Stay on top of your credit.
  5. Protect your social security number.
  6. Follow your credit card billing cycles closely.

Read all tips on their website here.

Using Credit Cards Online

Only use websites that you trust when providing any credit card information. Don’t forget to look for the “https” before the website address in the URL box to know that you are on a secure server.

When you are using online banking or otherwise storing your credit card or banking information online, make sure you use secure passwords. If possible you passwords should contain the following:

  • Uppercase letters
  • Lowercase letters
  • Numbers
  • Special Characters (ex: ! @ # $ ( ) [ ] )

Use different passwords for every website.

If it helps, you can find a method of including part of the website title in every password so that you can remember them. For example, you could always begin the password with the first letter of the website and end it with the 3rd letter of the website. This way your passwords are different, but you have a pattern for remembering them.

If you keep all your passwords together somewhere, it’s best to write them down on paper instead of keeping them on your computer. When creating passwords, remember: the more complex, the better.