Financial Safety / Credit Cards

5 Tips To Keep Your Card Information Safe

Words by Abbie Dyer on Aug 13, 2019 11:21:32 AM

In our busy lives, the convenience of carrying a debit or credit card fits well in our lifestyles. But many of us question the benefit of this convenience with concerns about safety and card compromises. Before you start emptying your wallet into the shredder, consider the ways that you use your cards and practice these five tips to keep your card information safe.

There are precautions you can take to protect yourself and limit the chance of your information ending up in the wrong hands. It's important for you to understand the security features that are available with your cards and to practice using your cards safely. 

Check Your Surroundings

Use outdoor terminals, like pumps at gas stations and drive-up ATMs, with caution. Criminals can put skimmers in a machine’s card reader, which then copies down your card information while you are doing a transaction. Stay aware of your surroundings when you're doing a transaction outside and stay in well-lit areas. Check out our other safety tips for using your card at a gas station.

If you need cash, be sure to practice our ATM safety tips. Cover your hand when you enter your PIN. And if a machine looks like it has been tampered with, don’t use it! If possible, notify the financial institution of the situation so they can send a technician out to look at the machine.

Be Careful Online

Consider using your credit card instead of your debit card online, since the money does not come out of your account right away. When shopping online, make sure the web address reads https:// instead of http://. The 's' in the web address is an indicator that the site is secure and uses an encrypted network. 

Is your computer safe? If your antivirus software is out of date, or if you are using a public Wi-Fi network, you run the risk of your computer being compromised.

Use Your Digital Wallet

You have your phone wherever you go, so you should use your digital wallet. With this payment option, your card number is not stored on your device and each payment is encrypted with a unique transaction code. For added security, you have to verify a purchase before it's made using your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. You can use your digital wallet to make secure purchases in stores and online. Just make sure you enable all of the security settings on your phone.

As a bonus to using your digital wallet, you'll never have to worry about forgetting your actual wallet somewhere. 

Respond to Text Alerts ASAP

We have a new text messaging service to help you monitor your debit card transactions. If we suspect suspicious activity on your debit card, we may send you a text asking you to verify the transaction in question. Send us a quick reply to let us know if you recognize the transaction. We'll walk you through the next steps in the process of reporting a fraudulent transaction if you don't recognize a purchase that we've contacted you about.

If you get a text from us, it will always come from a 5-digit number, not a 10-digit number resembling a phone number. And we will never ask you for your PIN or the 3-digit security code (CVV) on the back of your debit card. 

Our text message alerts will never contain a link in them. We simply ask you to respond with 'Yes', 'No', 'Help, or 'Stop'. If you ever get a text asking you to verify a transaction by clicking on a link, ignore it and delete it immediately. 

Monitor Your Accounts

Make it a weekly habit to log in to Online Banking or Mobile Banking at least once a week to check your balances. Review your transactions and make sure that all of your purchases look familiar.

Another great way to keep your card information safe is to add restrictions on when and where your card can be used with CardValet1. Through this mobile app, you can choose to receive alerts or have card transactions declined if a purchase is attempted over a certain dollar amount or in a new location. If you lose your card, you can turn it off through the CardValet app and turn it back on again if you find it.

If you suspect fraud on your debit card, give us a call at 888.267.7200 and we'll help you out. For help with your credit card, call our credit card service center at 1.855.671.0078.

Don’t give up on plastic just yet. Trust your gut and play it safe. If a transaction doesn’t feel or look right, walk away. And rest assured that if something does happen, we’ve got your back.

SEE ALSO: 6 Steps to Handling a Card Compromise   6 Simple Reasons You Should Use Your Digital Wallet


1Third party website. Lake Trust Credit Union is not responsible for the content, availability, security, or compliance of any linked third party websites. In additions, the site’s privacy policy may differ from those of Lake Trust.


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