EMV chip technology, which is the first major upgrade for credit card fraud protection in many years, is slowly being rolled out by merchants around the world, including in the United States. While this technology has the potential to provide better security for your credit card data, it still has its limits and it is not completely hacker-proof or secure. As such it is still important to be vigilant about protecting your personal information and your credit card whenever you use it. A few key points to keep in mind:
- Double check the whereabouts of your credit card often. This may sound silly at first, but the instances of people forgetting their cards in credit card terminals and bank machines is actually increasing according to industry sources (partly because chip card processing takes a little longer), so try to remember to take your card back after leaving a store so that it doesn’t get stolen….and double check that your credit card is in your possession on a regular basis.
- Create account alerts. If someone does get unauthorized access to your credit card information, you’ll want to know asap. Most financial institutions and credit card companies have free text message and email notifications that can alert you to suspicious account activity so please, sign up!
- Take data breach notifications seriously. With so many stories in the news about retail data breaches, it’s easy to tune them out. However, according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) 1 in 5 data-breach victims suffered fraud in 2015, up from 1 in 7 in 2014. Clearly, this is a growing problem and you should take any news or notices of a breach where your card has been potentially compromised seriously and take the actions recommended by authorities to avoid losses.
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Payment industry research shows that more than $16 billion was lost in worldwide credit card fraud in 2014 and 48 percent of the losses occurred here in the United States, making it more important than ever to keep tabs on your credit card and use the tips above to avoid having your credit card and other sensitive information compromised.