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Cybersecurity: Protecting Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud And Theft
By Arijit Banerjee
Online shopping has completely overhauled the way the retail system works. With the click of a mouse, the best in terms of bargains and everything in between are speedily delivered to your doorstep. While this has made life infinitely more interesting and easy, there are many associated pitfalls also.
With the increased use of credit cards and debit cards during online shopping, identity theft and or credit card fraud is really starting to irk Cyber Security experts the world over. Phishers and Fraudsters are stealing your credit card information and using it to make not only large purchases but also to empty out accounts in a jiffy. Putting yourself in the cross-hairs of a potential credit card fraud and being on the brink of financial ruin is never a good thing.
You can take some definitive steps to protect yourself against online fraud and theft. Here's how.
Strong Credit Card Authentication
Most online portals ask for the CVV number at their payment gateways. This is the unique three-digit number printed on the backside of your credit card. It remains virtually hidden as you feed in the details and allows the bank to authenticate your details. Furthermore, Zip-codes at payment kiosks are also another method of authentication.
Modern-day banks use refined algorithms to monitor your shopping habits and red flag a suspicious transaction whenever necessary. This means that a dubious transaction will not go through. While this can be annoying, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Use Difficult Passwords, Guard Your Information Fiercely
Never use an easy password if you are executing a net banking transaction. Passwords to your bank accounts should always have a combination of numbers, alphabets, and characters, which makes it difficult for fraudsters to crack it and thus prevents credit card theft. Guard your personal information, like birth date, mobile phone number, and account numbers and never use them unwittingly on websites where offers sound too good to be true.
Stay Alert for Phishing Attempts
Cyber Security experts warn citizens to always be on the lookout for phishing attempts. These are conducted via phone calls by people impersonating as bank officials. Suspicious e-mails asking for your name, address, phone number, etc. should be deleted immediately. Also, never click on any of the links present in these e-mails. Banks are alerting customers now more than ever before, and you need to pay heed to these alerts.
Monitor Your Credit Card Transactions and History Closely
It is imperative to generate credit card statements and bank account statements and scrutinise them closely for any fishy or fraudulent transaction(s). Try to get a security freeze on your credit history reports. This prevents hackers from applying for a card by using your name as the lender is denied access to your credit history. Use mobile banking apps which are more secure and keep changing your debit card pin regularly.
Always Check Site URLs
Logging onto a fake website can cost you your life's earnings. Always check the site's domain name. The URL should always begin with 'https' and not 'http'. There should also be a lock icon, which means the website is secure. Online portals like scamadviser give out a company's trust ratings, which could help you if you make a credit card purchase.
When making purchases online, do so on websites that have a robust online shopping infrastructure, like Amazon, Jabong, and Myntra. These websites help you track payment and delivery and have a 24/7 customer support helpline. They follow stringent norms in terms of Cyber Security.
I Have Been Cheated, Now What
If you have been subjected to credit card fraud, do not delay. Notify your credit card company and have your credit card blocked ASAP. The same goes for your debit card. Change all user names and passwords to bank accounts immediately. Take preventive measures immediately for all other accounts, including investment accounts.
Online credit card fraud and theft is the biggest scrooge affecting Cyber Security. However, by keeping yourself abreast with the newest technologies for online safety and by staying alert, you too can make your online experiences not only enjoyable but also secure.
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