Ways to Protect Your Identity

Plastic Card Security Tips

With the explosion of online financial transactions and the burgeoning use of credit and debit cards, it’s more important than ever to protect your electronic identity. Here are some tips to remember:

  1. Avoid carrying all your plastic cards, Social Security number, birth certificate or passport. Carry only those cards you will be using and other necessary identification.
  2. Reduce the number of active cards you have.
  3. Do not write your password or PIN (Personal Identification Number) on your card — or carry it with you. Memorize it!
    When making purchases on the Internet, buy from recognizable, reputable businesses. And make sure you are shopping in a “secure” environment on their website.
  4. Transactions completed over the Internet should be handled carefully. Do not assume your communication is private. Ensure transmittal of any personal information is protected by encryption. Check with creditors, merchants, network providers, etc., to find out what they’re doing to ensure your privacy.
  5. If you notice a decrease in mail to any one in your household or do not receive anticipated statements, contact the post office and/or your creditor to verify the address they show on your account. Account takeovers are usually accomplished by changing the address on an individual and then requesting new plastic cards.
  6. When you go on vacation, ask the post office to place a hold on your mail until you return.
  7. Do not have your Social Security number or driver’s license number printed on your checks.
  8. Compliment merchants and clerks who hold your card and verify your signature. Confront clerks who do not verify your signature as required by both VISA and MasterCard.

Most of all, be careful and use common sense when using your credit and debit cards on the Internet.