Credit and debit cards are safe to use, and new payment technologies such as mobile payments have the same security features consumers expect from their cards. But as with all things, it’s always a good idea to be diligent and take a few simple precautions to protect yourself from would-be fraudsters.
- Create powerful passwords. Make your passwords strong by making them complex with upper case, numbers and symbols. Change your passwords from time to time. Use different passwords for different purposes and ensure you have a means to recover them, such as a separate email address.
- Shop with reputable retailers. The rise of eCommerce makes shopping more convenient than ever, but you should only shop though reliable websites you can trust. You should be the only one with knowledge of your PIN, and shield it from sight at checkout.
- Track your statements. By keeping an eye on your card statement, you’ll know if an unauthorized purchase was processed. Sign up for online/e-statements and check regularly. If you notice something, call your bank immediately. The number is always on the back of your card.
- Stay away from scams. Don’t open links or email attachments from unknown sources, and don’t share card data or personal information (passwords, date of birth, social insurance number) via unsolicited phone calls, emails, text messages, or social media messages. If you provided credit card data and it later seemed suspicious, call your bank. Banks will never call you directly and ask for your personal information.
- Travel safe. March also means Spring Break for many. Using your card while traveling means you can avoid carrying large sums of cash. Keep receipts from your card purchases and check them for anything unusual or unexpected when you get home. Consider calling your bank to advise them of your travel.
- Know the facts. The bank that issued your card owns the relationship with you, the cardholder. Should you ever have a question about a purchase or a transaction, call the number on the back of your card to be connected directly to your bank.
- Protection with Zero Liability. Inform yourself about the layers of security built into your credit card’s payment network. MasterCard cardholders are protected against fraudulent purchases under the Zero Liability Policy. MasterCard’s Safety Net monitors the entire MasterCard global network activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.