By Matt Johnson
Guard your credit cards, even if they use microchips.
Banking cards with microchip technology are designed to protect against fraudulent duplication of magnetic strip cards. However, they do not solve all potential problems confronting consumers. It still pays to be cautious with your credit card information.
Unfortunately, as security measures increase, criminals find new ways to steal information. Chip cards can be read over a short distance using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. With the right equipment, a criminal could steal your data while standing next to you, without your knowledge. For that reason, consider using a protective sleeve or RFID-blocking wallet.
Although chip cards – whether used with a PIN or signature – help reduce some security threats, online and phone purchases with stolen card information remain an issue for the consumer. Continue to take the same security precautions with chipped cards that should be taken with magnetic strip cards:
- Shop only on secured sites – look for the https in the address line
- Guard your card information closely
- Check statements for suspicious activity
- Think twice before giving your information over the phone; make sure you’re talking to a legitimate merchant representative
- Consider alternative payment methods, such as having merchandise delivered to a store where you can pay in person
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. And carry only the card you need for that outing.
- During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.
- Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.
- Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you will be traveling.
- Don’t write your account number on the outside of an envelope.
Continue to stay overly protective of your credit card information. It is still vulnerable.
Federal Trade Commission article: Protecting against credit card fraud
StaySafeOnline.org: Online shopping safety tips
Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company