Security tips for credit cards

By taking some basic precautionary measures you can greatly reduce the risk of fraud. Here are some tips that our fraud experts have compiled to help our credit card customers.

Expand Security online
  • Use anti-virus and spyware protection on your computer. This will continually scan your computer to detect and remove viruses and spyware that can damage your computer, your documents and steal your personal details. Try to keep your anti-virus software updated and, if available, use the automatic update facility.
  • Download with caution. Ensure that any software you are downloading is reputable and from a reputable source. If the download is free, ensure that the site can be trusted.
  • When going online in a public space, such as an internet cafe, be careful when entering passwords or personal details-you never know who might be watching.
  • When using a shared computer, always select "No" when prompted by the computer to remember your password for the next time you visit.
  • Ensure any wireless connection is secure and accessible only with a security code or password. Try to avoid entering personal details or passwords when using wireless internet in public places.
  • Always try to use different passwords for different websites that you access regularly.
  • Do not use obvious passwords such as your date of birth, and never disclose your password, login details or user name to anyone. Update any passwords as frequently as possible.
  • Avoid providing personal details, such as your date of birth if you use social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace.
  • Always log off any websites that you are using before leaving your computer.
  • Always log off online banking sites before visiting any other websites.
  • Add our Online Banking site to your internet browser favorites. If you always enter the site through your browser favorites you can be confident that you are not logging on to a fake website.
Expand Security while shopping onlline
  • When shopping online do not send your credit card details to retailers by email.
  • If you plan to have purchases shipped to a different address (different to the billing address for your credit card), we recommend that you inform us prior to placing your order to ensure that your transactions get approved.
  • Never disclose your PIN at any time including when shopping online or by phone.
  • Shop with established businesses so you can more easily resolve problems.
  • Print or keep electronic copies of your receipts, including confirmation numbers and emails.
  • When making an online purchase, check for the padlock icon in the bottom corner of the browser and the prefix https:// which indicates that the site is secure.
Expand Security at home
  • Shred all confidential letters, account statements and receipts before disposal.
  • Before going on holiday let your credit card providers know of your travel plans. This will help them verify the transactions you make abroad and prevent your credit card from being blocked unnecessarily.
  • Sign your new credit card as soon as you receive it.
  • Destroy your old credit cards by cutting through the chip and the magnetic strip.
  •  Keep us updated with any new contact details so we can contact you easily should we need to confirm any new transactions or changes to your account.
  •  Try to memorize your PIN. If not, ensure that you keep it safe and separate from your credit card. Do not write your PIN down and never reveal it to anyone, even if you are buying goods over the phone.
  • Retailers may ask for your credit card number, expiry date and CVC number over the phone but never require your PIN. Only deal with reputable businesses over the phone.
  • When selecting your PIN choose a number that's easy to remember but not obvious, such as your date of birth. Most high street bank cash machines will enable you to select a preferred PIN number.
  • Keep credit card cheques in a safe place separate from your credit card.
  • If delivery of a new credit card seems slow report it to your credit card provider immediately.
  • If delivery of any of your monthly account statements seems slow or you receive your account statement and it appears to have been opened or tampered with, report it immediately.
  • Thoroughly check your account statements for any transactions that you don't recognize. Enroll in Online Banking so you can check your account statement more regularly.
  •  Check your credit file regularly to verify that no unauthorized credit facilities have been opened under your name. You can get a copy of your credit file from the credit reporting agencies in Canada (refer to External Resources). If you are moving, tell your bank and other credit card issuers immediately and set up a mail re-direct with Canada Post.
  • If you've been a victim of credit card fraud in the past we recommend that you add a password to your account.
Expand Security while out and about
  • When entering your PIN at the checkout, use your body or other hand to shield the PIN pad from other customers and sales staff. The same applies when entering your PIN at a cash machine or ATM.
  • When using your credit card to make a transaction avoid letting the credit card out of your sight, particularly in merchants such as gas stations and restaurants. Never leave your credit card behind the bar in nightclubs or restaurants.
  • When using a cash machine or ATM, always check for signs of interference. Pay particular attention to the credit card slot, ensuring that there are no signs that something has been attached to it or that it has been tampered with.
  • Do not accept help from strangers when using the cash machine.
  • If your credit cards are lost or stolen, contact the issuing banks immediately. It's a good idea to have their contact details written down somewhere in the event of this happening.
  • Treat your credit card and PIN as if they were cash. Do not leave them unattended in a car, wallet or handbag where they are susceptible to opportunistic thieves.
  • Save receipts to check against your billing account statement.
  • Draw a line through extra spaces when signing receipts so nothing can be added later on.
  • Shred receipts before throwing them away. If saving receipts, make sure they're securely filed.