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Are Debit & Credit Cards Safe to Use

Rickie Fleming - Saturday, June 28, 2014

Everyone likes the ease of going to the store or shopping online without the hassle but do you ever wonder if your debit or credit card is safe and secure?

Here are some tips to ensure you are safe:

  • Always keep up-to-date


  • Always be updated with your debit and/or credit statements.  Make it your business to check your account(s) or statements on a weekly basic or when you have utilized your card. This you can easily do online.


  • Pin Number: Always protect your pin number.  Do not share your pin number with anyone.  Avoid writing it down and/or leaving it in your purse or wallet.  Keep your debit or credit card in a safe place.  Treat it like you would do if it was cash or a check.  If your card is replaced, destroy your old card.


  • Email: It is not safe to send your card details via email as email is easily hacked.


  • ATMs: Ensure you are aware of your surroundings and exercise caution when withdrawing funds. Be especially careful at ATM locations with multiple ATM machines.


  • Wireless: Don’t use public wireless access for financial transactions.  This puts your account/password at a high risk of fraud. 


  • Report problems immediately: If your wallet or purse goes missing or is stolen you would report it right away.  Do so as well with any unauthorized or suspicious transaction you observe so that it can be dealt with as quickly as possible.


Credit V.S. Debit Card

It is safer to use a credit card for online purchases.  Credit cards offer more security in case of identity theft and it is easier to solve a dispute, whereas if you use your debit card, you are at a high risk of having your account wiped out. This is not the case with a credit card.  In the case of your debit card you may or may not get back your money.  For this reason, always use your credit card over your debit card for online purchases.


Shop for secure websites

Check to ensure your favourite site is secure, to do so, check the URL.  A secure website has a URL that starts with https:// instead of http://.  The ‘s’ refers to ‘secure’ and offers strong online protection against data theft.  The site will also have a small lock icon in the lower right corner of the screen.  It is also important to look for sites that participate in a transaction verification system known as 3D Secure.  Depending on the card you use, it will appear as ‘verified by VISA’ or ‘MasterCard SecureCode’. 

Always remember to log off and close browser once you have finished shopping.


Store your data carefully

It is not safe to save your personal information and card details on websites even though it becomes easier to shop.  If there is ever a security breach, your information is vulnerable to be hacked.  Even though it may take some time to input all information every time you do a transaction, it is safer.  Remember; do not leave passwords on site available to others when using a shared computer.

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