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Credit Card Protection and Safety Tips from Bank of America Credit card protection begins at home. Read Bank of America's seven credit card safety tips to learn how to keep your credit card safe every time you shop. Credit card safety tips: Seven keys to credit card protection Bank of America credit card protection, credit card safety, credit card safety tips

We Americans use our credit cards more than ever these days — which makes credit card protection more important than ever. There’s a lot you can do to ensure credit card safety, and most of it comes down to common sense. Read these credit card safety tips and learn simple ways to safeguard your card.

  1. Credit card safety first
    • Sign the signature panel on the back of your card as soon as you get it
    • Never keep your PIN code in the same place as your card
  2. Keep your account number private
    Thieves don’t need the card to get into your account, just the number. So for the sake of credit card safety:
    • Keep your card close to your vest — don’t let anyone see it when you’re out in public
    • Don’t give the number over the phone unless you initiated the call and you’re talking to your bank or a merchant you trust Never answer an email that asks for your account number or personal information — even if it l
    • ooks like it’s from your bank or a reputable company or organization
    • Consider paperless statements to remove your sensitive information from the postal system
    • Store paper statements and other documents with sensitive information securely and shred prior to disposal
    • Tell your credit card issuer if you’re changing addresses so statements and other notifications about your credit card follow you to your new home
    • Periodically check to ensure your bank or credit card issuer has your current phone number and email address on file so they can contact you quickly if necessary
    • Use online payments where possible to avoid the risk of a lost or stolen check or account number in the mail
  3. Be careful with your receipts
    • Extra spaces on the receipt? Draw a line through them before you sign, so nothing can be added later
    • Keep your receipts and check them against your billing statements
    • Don’t just toss receipts and duplicates — shred the ones you don’t need and securely file the rest
  4. Make sure your devices and networks are secure
    • Make sure your computer is equipped with a firewall, which prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer or monitoring transfers of information to and from the computer
    • Be sure to download and install any operating system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs) in a timely manner
    • Make sure your browser software is up to date
    • Equip your computer with virus-protection software, such as McAfee Internet Security
    • Utilize fraud protection software. Bank of America customers can download free Trusteer Rapport software to help protect their account information
    • Avoid downloading software or programs from unknown sources
  5. Think credit card protection when you shop online
    • Shop with established businesses that you can contact easily if there’s an issue
    • When shopping on your mobile device, check to be sure the sites are secure by looking for web addresses with https: in the address
    • Don’t share personal info unless you absolutely have to and you know how it will be used
    • Check payment terms, refund and return policies, shipping costs and guidelines
    • Print or save to your desktop: electronic copies of receipts, confirmation numbers and emails
  6. Keep your passwords secret
    • Choose effective passwords that use both letters and numbers
    • Avoid using names, birthdays or anniversaries
    • Never share your passwords, and never keep them near your card
    • Consider changing your passwords periodically and don’t use the same password for all your accounts
  7. Check your account often
    Reviewing your recent account activity is fundamental to credit card safety, and it’s easy. You can do it online or by phone. If your credit card issuer offers Email or Mobile Alerts about unusual activity, sign up to receive them. If you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft in the past, consider signing up with a credit-monitoring service. (Have a credit card with Bank of America? You receive fraud monitoring and analysis free as part of our Total Security Protection® package.)
  8. Report lost cards and suspected fraud right away
    If you lose your credit card or suspect fraudulent activity, contact your bank or credit card issuer right away. Your credit card issuer can block your card and account number so no one else can use them, and then give you a new card and account number. Remember: Speed is of the essence. According to U.S. law, once you notify your issuer that your card was lost or stolen, the most you’ll have to pay is $50 — and many issuers waive that as long as you notify them promptly.

Read our article Dealing with credit card fraud to learn more about what to do if your credit card is stolen.

Credit Card Protection and Safety Tips from Bank of America Credit card protection begins at home. Read Bank of America's seven credit card safety tips to learn how to keep your credit card safe every time you shop. credit card protection, credit card safety, credit card safety tips

Credit card safety tips: 8 keys to credit card protection

Learn the keys to credit card safety and help protect against fraud.

Americans use credit cards more than ever these days—which makes credit card protection more important than ever. There's a lot you can do to help protect your credit cards, and most of it comes down to common sense. Read these credit card safety tips and learn simple ways to safeguard your card.

  1. Credit card safety first

    • Sign the signature panel on the back of your card as soon as you get it
    • Never keep your PIN code in the same place as your card
  2. Keep your account number private
    Thieves don’t need the card to get into your account, just the number. So for the sake of credit card safety:

    • Keep your card private—don't let anyone see it when you're out in public
    • Don't give the number out over the phone unless you initiated the call and you're talking to your bank or a merchant you trust
    • Never answer an email that asks for your account number or personal information—even if it looks like it's from your bank or a reputable company or organization
    • Consider paperless statements to remove your sensitive information from the postal system
    • Store paper statements and other documents with sensitive information securely—and shred prior to disposal
    • Tell your credit card issuer if you’re changing addresses so statements and other notifications about your credit card follow you to your new home
    • Periodically check to ensure your bank or credit card issuer has your current phone number and email address on file so you can be contacted quickly if necessary
    • Use online payments where possible to avoid the risk of a lost or stolen check or account number in the mail
  3. Be careful with your receipts

    • Extra spaces on the receipt? Draw a line through them before you sign, so nothing can be added later
    • Keep your receipts and check them against your billing statements
    • Don’t just toss receipts and duplicates—shred the ones you don’t need and securely file the rest
  4. Make sure your devices and networks are secure

    • Make sure your computer is equipped with a firewall, which prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer or monitoring transfers of information to and from the computer
    • Be sure to download and install any operating system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs) in a timely manner
    • Make sure your browser software is up to date
    • Equip your computer with virus-protection software, such as McAfee Internet Security
    • Utilize fraud protection software. Bank of America customers can download free Trusteer Rapport software to help protect their account information
    • Avoid downloading software or programs from unknown sources
  5. Think credit card protection when you shop online

    • Shop with established businesses that you can contact easily if there’s an issue
    • When shopping on your mobile device, check to be sure the sites are secure by looking for web addresses with https: in the address
    • Don't share personal info unless you absolutely have to—and you know how it will be used
    • Check payment terms, refund and return policies, shipping costs and guidelines
    • Print or save (to your desktop) electronic copies of receipts, confirmation numbers and emails
  6. Keep your passwords secret

    • Choose effective passwords that use both letters and numbers
    • Avoid using names, birthdays or anniversaries
    • Never share your passwords—and never keep them near your card
    • Consider changing your passwords periodically and don’t use the same password for all your accounts
  7. Check your account often
    Reviewing your recent account activity is fundamental to credit card safety—and it's easy. You can do it online or by phone. If your credit card issuer offers email or mobile alerts about unusual activity, sign up to receive them. If you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft in the past, consider signing up with a credit-monitoring service. (Have a credit card with Bank of America? Good news: You receive fraud monitoring and analysis free as part of our Total Security Protection® package.)
  8. Report lost cards and suspected fraud right away
    If you lose your credit card or suspect fraudulent activity, contact your bank or credit card issuer right away. Your credit card issuer can block your card and account number so no one else can use them, and then give you a new card and account number. Remember: Speed is critical. According to U.S. law, once you notify your issuer that your card was lost or stolen, the most you’ll have to pay is $50—and many issuers waive that as long as you notify them promptly.

Dealing with credit card fraud has information about what to do if your credit card is stolen.

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