How to use your cards without problems

We are using cards more and more, both in our physical and online purchases. We remind you of some basic security tips so that you don’t run any risks.

It was a clear trend, but the pandemic, and the increase in online shopping, have served to consolidate it: we are using more and more credit cards. Do you want to make your card payments safely? Here are some basic and useful tips to keep your card protected from thieves and cybercriminals.

Tips for safe card use

In general

    • Do not accumulate cards: only sign up for cards that you will use. If you decide to sign up for a new card and you are going to stop using another one, it is best to cancel it.
    • Choose a profitable card: look for the one that suits you best in the market.
    • Sign the card as soon as you receive it and do not write down the secret number anywhere. If you suspect that someone might know it, change it as soon as possible.
    • If you do not use the card regularly, make sure you still have it.
    • Some banks allow you to restrict the operation of your cards, for example, by deactivating options. If your cards have this option, deactivate the operations you do not use: you can recover them when you need them.
    • Make a note in your cell phone’s address book of the telephone numbers enabled for reporting the loss or theft. In many cases it is possible to block the card through the issuer’s application.
    • Never share the PIN or CVV of the card.

Protect your card at ATMs and merchants.

    • Be cautious when using ATMs, especially if they are different from the ones you usually use. If you notice any suspicious or strange device outside the ATM, do not use it.
    • At the ATM or when you are paying with your card in a store, be wary of anyone who approaches you with any excuse.
    • The PIN is only used to verify identity in physical stores and ATMs, but never in online purchases.

Secure cards for online purchases

    • Make your purchases in trusted establishments and before entering your card data, make sure that it is a secure connection (the card data will be transmitted encrypted through the network, so that no one else will have access to them).
    • Do not use the option to save your card details offered by many online merchants, especially if it is not a merchant where you shop regularly. If you have already done so, log back in with your username and password, find your payment details and delete them.
    • If you shop online from your cell phone, do not connect to the Internet through public or unknown networks.

Prepaid cards, a good option

Prepaid cards can be a safe alternative if you do not want to enter your regular card details and avoid it being registered anywhere. They are an option that should be considered especially in certain cases.

For online purchases you can recharge it with the precise balance you need for each purchase, they will not be able to pass a fraudulent charge over that amount.

To pay for online services and subscriptions that require a card to charge (from gaming or streaming TV platforms, to carsharing services, parking meters, etc.), these types of prepaid cards are very useful.

When traveling, especially outside the euro zone, as the chances of having the card data stolen or duplicated are higher.

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