10 tips on credit card security

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When you have a credit card, you have to stay careful and vigilant. But how can you be sure that you have good security habits?

Here are 10 tips that will help you adopt responsible behaviour when you use your credit card.

  1. Keep receipts for your purchases and compare the amounts to what you are being charged on your monthly statement; errors have been known to occur.
  2. Never give merchants your personal information, even if they ask for it. All they can legally request is a valid card and your signature.
  3. Report the loss or theft of your credit card as soon as possible.
  4. If a fraud occurs, take advantage of Zero Liability. If your number or card is stolen while you're shopping (online or not), you'll be released from your responsibility as a consumer and you won't have to pay anything. You must be able to provide reasonable proof that you are not responsible for any purchases that were made, unless they required the use of your personal identification number (PIN). Therefore it is important to always review your monthly statements carefully in order to detect any unauthorized transactions (your cardholder agreement provides a definition of an unauthorized transaction).
  5. Make a list of all your cards and their numbers. Keep the list in a safe place (other than in your wallet or purse). It will be easier to cancel them in the event of loss or theft.

    You will be held responsible for purchases made with your credit card (with or without your consent) by anyone in your entourage.

  6. Make sure that the card you are handed back after you make a purchase is yours.
  7. Never give your card number over the phone, unless you are placing the call or are certain you know the person who is calling.
  8. On the Internet, only conduct financial transactions on secure websites (often identified by a small padlock in the bottom right of the screen, and by a URL that begins with "https"). NEVER give your credit card number by email.
  9. Never leave your credit cards unattended at work or school. Most credit card thefts take place in these locations.
  10. Sign the back of any new card as soon as you receive it and destroy any expired or unused cards.