Editor’s note: This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez, proud owner and founder of CNA Finance and avid personal finance journalist. Join the discussion about this article in the comments below or on Google+!
Hi everyone, I’m Joshua Rodriguez and thank you for coming to read my first post on The Money Principle! Today, I’d like to discuss a topic that seems to have been left in the past. However, it’s still to this day, a very real problem. Theft of credit and charge card numbers online and in person costs the world economy tons of money each and every year. The good news is, there are simple ways to protect yourself from being the victim of credit, check or charge card fraud! Here are 3 things that you can do online and otherwise to protect yourself…
Take Advantage Of Online Browser Functions
Making a purchase online can be risky business. There are tons of people who have found ways to work the system and steal payment information from consumers while making online purchases. Luckily for us, knowing this, computer engineers have come up with nifty tools that can help us ensure that we don’t become the next victim of online fraud.
These days, security certificates generally ensure that the information being typed into a website is safe and out of the reach of con-artists. They’ve also made it pretty simple to see if a web page has it or not. All you need to do to find out is look at the address bar in your browser. If the web address looks like this http://… the page is not secure. However, if it starts with https://… you can be sure that the page has a security certificate.
Keep in mind that you will seldom find an entirely secure website. Most websites that make sales, or provide financial products have secure and non-secure pages. So, keep in mind that if an information page is not secured, it’s OK. The pages you should be concerned with are the pages that ask for your information.
Check Your Accounts Nightly
Although the internet has invented a new type of con-artists, it has also invented several ways for you to keep track of your finances. As a matter of fact, chances are, you are able to access all of your accounts directly online whether they are credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts or any other type of account you may have. It’s important these days to take advantage of this ability.
Most con-artists that get hold of your payment information will not stop using it until it doesn’t work anymore. Therefore, nightly checks to ensure that you remember all actions on your account can save you tons of money if someone has snatched your information!
Never Leave Your Wallet Or Pocket Book Unattended In Public
Although, I haven’t personally been the victim of a stolen wallet, I’ve heard stories from close friends who have. Not to mention, we see the shows on T.V. about it all the time. Leaving your wallet or purse on a table while you eat could simply be bait for a slick pick pocket to get an easy grab!