If your credit card number or identity has been stolen before, you know it’s the worst. The wait to get everything straightened out can be stressful. But don’t fret! Even though nothing seems one-hundred percent secure, there are a lot of ways you can help protect your money. Here are a few tips for keeping your credit card information safe…
Secure your cards: If your wallet is ever stolen, it would be awful if you lost every card, so consider that the next time you leave the house. Only take what you need with you and keep the rest somewhere secure like a safe or backyard mason jar. I once new a guy who carried an old wallet that was empty other than a twenty dollar bill. If he was ever robbed, his real wallet would stay in his pocket and he’d hand over the old one. Then he’d only be out 20 bucks plus the old wallet. While it might not be a great gamble to try and pull the wool over an armed robber’s eyes, it’s something to think about.
Pay . . . but pay attention: While you can’t really be aware of criminal activities in real-time, you can check in on your accounts regularly. With today’s smartphone banking apps, you’re only seconds away from checking your accounts and looking for illegal transactions. If you’re keeping track of your spending and looking at your accounts daily (it only takes a few seconds), you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
Go high-tech: I don’t know if you’ve ever used the digital wallet on your smartphone, but it’s a great thing. While not every retailer is prepared to accept payments in this way, a ton of stores are set-up already and more are “getting with the program” every day. The chips in today’s cards seem to be pretty safe, but if you’re still not sure, give your digital wallet a try and leave those cards at home. Also, give those gas pump credit card slots a little “jiggle” and make sure someone hasn’t added a skimmer on top of the legit technology. I haven’t found one yet, but I’m excited about the prospect of ruining a criminal’s day!