Over the last few years, data security has gone from an obscure technical subject to a frequent headline in the national news. As corporations and government agencies have become victims of computer hackers, individuals now have a heightened awareness of the need to keep their own data secure, especially their credit card numbers.

Help Keep your credit card numbers secure.

There are several steps you can take to help keep your credit card information from falling into the wrong hands.

First, you need to consider your credit card’s account numbers to be private information. This means that you should never give out your credit card to be used by others, even family and friends. If you need to have someone make charges on your behalf, you can make them authorized users on your account, and request additional cards. In fact, the Discover card allows you to add authorized users to your account at no additional charge. This provides flexibility in who can use your card.

Another way you can help protect your credit card account information is to be careful with written information. You can avoid writing your credit card numbers down, and you should take care to shred your statements or other account information before disposing of it.

Tips to help protect your credit card information online.

It should come as no surprise that cyber-criminals are always looking for ways to steal your credit card information online, but there are several things that you can do to reduce your chance of being a victim.

First, be especially careful which sites you choose to make purchases from using your credit card. A legitimate site that accepts credit cards will always be encrypted, with an address beginning with https:// rather than just http://.

Also, you should not provide your credit card information after clicking on a link sent to you by email, as it’s difficult to tell if the site making the request is authentic.

In addition, you always want to be careful not to post pictures of your card on social media. With the high resolution camera on a new smartphone, it’s easier than you might think to read out your credit card numbers.

Credit cards are a dependable method of payment.

Despite several high profile breaches of security, your credit card is a dependable method of payment that has some legal protections.

For example, the Fair Credit Billing Act limits a cardholder’s liability to $50 when fraudulent charges are made on an account. The Discover card offers a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee, so you’re never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.

There’s also a popular misconception that the new credit cards with embedded smart chips, called EMV chips, are vulnerable to being read by people nearby with some sort of scanning device. There are even companies that sell wallets that purport to protect your card against these kind of criminals.

When you insert EMV cards into chip-enabled terminals at stores and ATMs, the chip helps protect against fraud because it creates unique transaction data.

Bottom line

By taking a few simple steps to guard your credit card information, you can do your part to ensure that you are helping to protect your credit card numbers.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.