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6 Must Know Security Tips for Credit Card Users


A Credit card surely changes the way we deal with payments and is much more hassle free as well as safer than cash. Credit cards come with added benefits in form of reward points, airport lounge access, insurance, dining discounts etc. which makes their use quite lucrative. Credit cards therefore, occupy a significant place among payment methods in this growing digital economy and is therefore recommended and encouraged. As with all digital payment methods though, there are many wolves out there that are hungrily eyeing your money and if you want to keep them at bay you need to be aware of and follow these top 5 security tips mentioned below.


1. When shopping online, shop from a trusted and reliable website

Cards are popular for online shopping. Users desire to shop from a site is driven by not only by their products but also by discounts offered by the website from time to time. Most users don't pay particular attention to the site they are shopping from, from the security standpoint. And in fact most users aren’t even aware of what a “secure site” means and does the site follow strict security compliance while accepting digital payments?

We want to benefit from offers but surely not at the expense of compromising our credit card details. To avoid unfortunate incidents with your credit cards, follow these tips:

  • Make sure that the shopping portal is secure and supports the https protocol. Here the ‘s’ in http stands for secure. And it is quite easy to verify this by simply looking at the URL on the browser

  • Does it make use of a well known & reputed payment gateway? Popular ones are billdesk, billjunction, juspay, razorpay, CCavenue etc.

  • Even better, shop from websites that have offers in partnership with various credit cards since these websites are usually, reviewed and verified by the banks that offer these cards

The question that comes up immediately is, where do I find such trusted websites that have offers in partnership with banks? RUSSH App is one that displays all these trusted shopping websites along with bank offers on their cards (both debit and credit).


2. Never keep photos of your credit cards on your phone

Some of us have the (bad) habit of either taking a photo of our credit card and storing it on our phone OR saving the card number & other details on the phone. This MUST be avoided at all costs. Many mobile apps ask for access to your photo gallery (say to select a profile pic) or to your file/folder (to save document/images) which makes the credit card details vulnerable when stored in the photo folder on the phone!

Credit card numbers are usually in a specific format and so is the card layout. With the advent of sophisticated machine learning techniques, gathering information from documents or photos has become trivial now.

In short, treat your credit card like cash. You don't keep cash in the open, do you? Similarly do not keep credit cards lying around in the open as theft of the card or even its details may result in compromises.


3. Do not ever share your CVV number or transaction OTP number

This sounds like an obvious thing but many fall prey by not following it. There are instances where people get phone calls from malicious users pretending to be bank employees or at times can be even be a bank employee who you might personally know. In other instances it could be a person from the call center of an online portal where you may have placed a purchase order and there are could be issues with the payment going through. However legitimate the case may sound, never ever share OTP and CVV number with anyone.


4. Set conservative sub limits on your credit cards

Credit cards are always associated with credit limits and depending upon the profile of the holder, this limit could be in tens of thousands or even lakhs. Holding a credit card with high credit limit can prove to be a boon, but can be a big problem if the card details are compromised.

It is therefore important for you to set appropriate sub-limits on your credit cards. Most card websites nowadays have the ability to let you set your own transaction limits for online transactions, cash withdrawal, point of sale transactions, foreign transactions etc. You must understand your requirements for each of these and set these limits appropriately to ensure that even if your card details are compromised, the extent of the loss is limited.

You must also keep track of insurance protection available on your credit card that limits the extent of loss on your card in the event of fraudulent or incorrect transactions.

Again, the question that arises is, where do you find such insurance details of your cards? RUSSH App (www.russh.in) is one place that shows all insurance details of all your cards. And it doesn’t require entering your card details. Just select your card type and find all the benefit including insurance.


5. Be vigilant while paying via Wireless/Contactless Cards

Many credit cards support wireless / contactless payments these days, which is a very handy and useful feature, especially in these Covid times. The good thing is that most banks have an upper limit on contactless payments, usually Rs.2000.

But one needs to be vigilant when doing contactless payments and should ensure that the payment transaction receipt received via SMS matches the purchase value, on the spot. This is to avoid any mishaps in case the vendor charges more than the purchase value via contactless payment. Discovered later, this can be disputed but that is a long-drawn process that requires proofs like purchase receipt, which is usually not preserved by card users.


6. Destroy card payment receipts before you dispose of them

May a times, we carelessly throw away accumulated card payment receipts into the bin or somewhere near the point of sale. This can prove to be very dangerous in case the receipt has your card number printed on it! While most card swipe machines hide the digits of your card number except for the last 2-4 digits, quite a few print the entire card number. This is a security breach and can lead to card data being compromised.

Hence it is best to shred card payment receipts before they are disposed off. In fact, it is probably best not to take a physical receipt at all because most cards send instant SMSes for transactions done on a card. That should be sufficient to verify whether the right amount was charged.


Other Useful Tips

  • Always sign your credit cards at the back

  • For online shopping save card information only on reliable sites or payment gateways (ones which claim PCI-DSS level compliance)

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