How can youngsters keep their credit cards safe?

With the increase in transactions, credit card users, especially the first-time and young users, are advised to apply extra caution in handling these financial products.

How can youngsters keep their credit cards safe?
Despite all the precautions and safety steps, if your card data gets compromised or a fraudulent transaction occurs, you should immediately contact your card issuer and get the card blocked.

A recently-released data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reveals that credit card spending hit an all-time high year on year in India. With the increase in transactions, credit card users, especially the first-time and young users, are advised to apply extra caution in handling these financial products.

Here are some tips to eliminate safety concerns while using your credit cards.
 
Avoid Sharing Your Credit Cards

A credit card is like your bank password. Only you are allowed to use it. You can’t give it to relatives or friends. Giving your credit card to an unknown person can put your financial health at risk. In India, cards are highly secure, with checks and balances such as PIN authentication. But each country has its own checks and balances. In a foreign country, there could be higher risks. When transacting with it offline in places like shops and restaurants, make sure your card is swiped in your presence. In your absence, there is potential for misuse.
 
Safeguard Your Password 

Keep your password away from the reach of unknown people. Safeguard information such as online login details, passwords, card and CVV numbers. If this data is breached, there can be misuse. Avoid using public computers and networks to input sensitive financial details. For greater safety, you could also change your credit card’s PIN and online login password every three or six months.
 
Restrict Daily Credit Limit

Most credit card companies provide the facility to set the transaction limit on your credit card through their app or online platform. It can help you control domestic and foreign transactions, setting the maximum daily spending limit, lowering the spending limit on your card, turning off or turning on the transactions on your card etc. These security features can cut down the chances of fraud. 
 
Check Credit Card Statement And Credit Score 

Check your credit card statement regularly as it helps you spot unauthorised transactions. You can report instances of such transactions to your card company and dispute the unauthorised activities. Similarly, you must check the credit score report regularly. Sometimes, people are unaware that unauthorised or fraudulent credit lines may have been opened in their names, and there are unpaid debts, ruining their credit score. Checking your credit report can help you identify such activities and take corrective measures.
 
Tokenise Credit Cards 

Tokenisation is the process of replacing your crucial card information with a unique code that can help protect your credit card from fraud like data theft. While making an online transaction, tokenisation can protect your card information as the original information such as card number does not get saved with the merchant. The RBI has recently extended the card tokenisation deadline to September 30, 2022. Card users can voluntarily adopt it to enhance their credit card security.
 
Getting Your Credit Cards Blocked 

Despite all the precautions and safety steps, if your card data gets compromised or a fraudulent transaction occurs, you should immediately contact your card issuer and get the card blocked. You can also block your credit card through your credit card’s mobile app, or online platform, by contacting customer care. Report the incident to your card issuer and follow the necessary procedures to recover the lost amount.
 
You can enhance the safety of your card by following a few more steps such as avoiding using your credit card on suspicious websites, never clicking on an unknown link received in via e-mail or text. Never share your sensitive card information with anyone, even if you receive a call from someone who pretends to be a bank official or someone from the card company’s customer care department. 
 
(The author is CEO, Bankbazaar.com)

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