Protecting your credit card information is no longer as simple as hiding it in your purse or stuffing it into a hidden compartment of your wallet. With so many bill providers and online retailers accepting payments online, your credit card information is readily available on the World Wide Web. This can be problematic because if cyber criminals steal your information, they can hack into your accounts, deplete your funds or even open new lines of credit, which can be detrimental to your credit score. You don't have to stop using your credit card to halt online criminals, but there are methods you can try to protect your information while you are surfing the Internet. Here are some ways you can protect your credit information online:
Paying bills or doing your shopping online can help you forego busy crowds and finding a stamp to mail out a check, but be sure to input your information to these applications carefully. Chances are, when you are going to make a financial transaction on one of these sites, you will be asked to create a username and a password. It is a simple request, as most online sites ask for this information, but in order to combat online thievery, be specific with your online profile.
Using the same password and username for every single site may make it easier for online thieves to access your information. To protect yourself, try creating unique login information for each account. This way, cyber criminals will have greater difficulty logging into your accounts and stealing your information. It is also helpful to log out of each session once you are done so your login information does not stay active. This will help you protect your information and your credit score.
Examining credit card statements
To make sure there hasn't been any activity that has occurred under your radar, check your credit card statement for unfamiliar transactions. If you have found fraudulent purchases, report it to your credit card issuer immediately.
Beware of suspicious emails
Cyber criminals can also send you malicious emails that will upload a virus to your computer. This type of virus can hack into your computer and steal your information, which can negatively impact your credit score. To combat these emails, be sure your spam blocker on your email account is on and updated and privacy software is up to date.