1. Sign your card
Sign the back of your credit card as soon as you receive it as a way to protect yourself if your card is ever stolen.
2. Protect your personal identification number (PIN)
Many credit cards require you to enter your PIN before you use them. Don’t let anyone else see your PIN when you enter it into a card reader or ATM. Choose a number you can remember and don’t carry any record of it in your wallet.
3. Protect your card information when you shop by phone
Never give out your credit card number unless you initiated the call and you know that you are dealing with a legitimate business. Also never give your card number out over a cordless phone. Radio scanners that eavesdrop on these conversations are available for a few hundred dollars at any electronics store.
4. Keep track of your card when you use it
If you can, watch when the sales person processes your purchase. Make sure they don’t take an extra copy of your card. Also be sure to get your card back after you use it.
5. Check your monthly statement
Make sure all the charges on your statement are yours. If you find something wrong, notify the card issuer right away.
6. Shred credit card statements and receipts
Destroy any voided or cancelled sales slips yourself. And cut up expired credit cards.
7. Keep a list
Make a list of your credit cards, credit card numbers and toll-free numbers in case your card is stolen or lost. Keep this list in a safe place and don’t share it with anyone.
Choosing a PIN
When choosing your PIN, avoid choosing numbers related to your birth date, phone number, social insurance number or family names. If someone steals your wallet, they may find that information and guess your PIN.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca