Electronic transactions are a boon to the busy Indian citizen however protection of your identity, your credit card, your financial information and your credit history are extremely significant in order to retain your peace of mind and maintain a healthy financial record. Credit card theft is one of the worst ways to get cheated. Therefore, it is important for every credit card holder to know how to avoid getting credit card hacked.

Consider the example of Bharat. He makes most of his purchases by credit card and one day, while on a work break, Bharat went to a coffee shop to buy his regular latte and muffin. However, he paid a huge price because he was robbed off his credit limit almost immediately. An unethical coffee shop worker used a smart machine to log Bharat’s credit card details and accessed Bharat’s credit card credentials and credit limit. What could Bharat have done to avoid this situation? Being smart and cautious is the only successful way in protecting against credit card fraud.

1. Safety First: How to Avoid Credit Card Hacking?

Did you know that on an average your credit card information is worth anywhere from INR 2000 to whatever the available card limit might be. This is precisely why hackers are interested in getting your data and selling it further. Since hackers are going after the companies that hold your information, it’s hard to stop them from getting your information. Prevention, they say is better than cure and this is precisely why we recommend that you don’t wait to check your billing statement only when it arrives; you must check either daily or on alternate days. If you have lost your card or see a fraudulent charge on it, you should keep checking daily for at least 30 days after your new card arrives. If you find a suspicious charge, dispute it immediately.

2. Guard Yourself Against Scams

Just because thieves have your credit card number, doesn’t necessarily mean that they also have the expiration date and the CVV number. Protect your credit card from being hacked by never responding to a scam where the thief might send an e-mail or call in an attempt to gain the rest of the information. We recommend that you refrain from passing out your information to anybody over phone or email unless you call the credit card provider directly. If a caller is giving you a number to return their phone call regarding your credit card, please verify that it is the same contact information that your credit card company provides on their brochures, website or behind the credit card. Also, ensure that you use your credit cards on ecommerce and travel sites that are encrypted and secure and ask for a one time password. Double check that the website you are making a transaction on is verified and safe.

3. Card Protection Plan

A good credit card provider will offer you the option of a protection plan. Bajaj Finserv has collaborated with CPP India to provide its customers CPP’s card protection plan, an assistance service enabling cardholders to protect themselves in the event of card loss or theft and resultant fraud and distress. A good card protection plan is a must for those consumers who use plastic money on a fairly regular basis for all daily payments, travel payments and regular expenses such as groceries, car payments etc. India is witnessing a sharphike in credit cards being the preferred mode of payments and transactions amongst Indian consumers, and a service that provides assistance as well as insurance on your credit card is a good way to protect against credit card hacks.

4. Be Intelligent With Your Passwords

Using a strong password and frequent change of your password is the only way to stay ahead in the game. Cyber thieves troll their targets and follow their patterns. Therefore, the only solution is not to create a pattern with your passwords. Same goes with pins for your cards. Had Mr. Bharat changed his pin on a regular basis (in our earlier example), he may have been able to protect his money from a data breach.

5. Incase You Lose Your Card

First and foremost, inform your card issuer. Let them know your last transaction as best as you can remember. Have them cancel your card immediately and send you a replacement card at your address. Further, analyze your other credit card statements to ensure that all activity is accurate.

6. Protect Your Credit Card from a Data Breach

Remember not to store your card details on any website or mobile app. That is the first step in protecting yourself and your credit card from a data breach.

Perhaps Mr. Bharat could have protected himself by following the above guidelines. Protect yourself from a credit card fraud and get a credit card from a good lender who will assist you in case the worst happens.