Protecting Both Your Money & Identity
Each year hundreds of thousands of individuals are affected by identity theft and fraud. The huge scale of identity fraud is uncontrollable, simply because it is relatively easy to do. Visa and MasterCard’s implementation of 3D Secure three years ago has done a lot to try and protect its customers against this costly crime.
Most people would have come across 3D Secure by now as it requires Visa and Mastercard customers to sign up for password authorisation when making purchases online. But don’t think that this will protect you completely from credit card fraud. You don’t need to be a criminal mastermind with thousands of pounds worth of spy gadgets to infiltrate someones credit card account.
So many people still don’t do the basics when it comes to protecting themselves online, and from identity fraud. First up, if you are shopping online, always look for the padlocked symbol on your browser (or a secure https address) which shows that you are sending your details in an encrypted format.
Secondly, for goodness sake, shred your statements! Like I said, you don’t need to spend thousands on a hi-tech stash of online spy gadgets when a few choice documents from your rubbish bin will do the same job!
Believe it or not, people are still giving out bank details and personal information over the phone to complete strangers. Yes, we know some of these cold callers can be extremely charming and manipulative but the bottom line is that if it is your bank calling, they will know all of these details and shouldn’t have to ask you for them! Security checks are fine but giving card numbers, security codes and passwords are a no-no.
If someone does manage to steal your identity or create duplicate details of your credit cards, your finances could be affected in the long-term. This has a knock-on effect of possibly affecting your credit rating and creating problems when it comes to applying for mortgages or loans in the future. So, do all you can to protect yourself and use some common sense too.