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Card security

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Many of us use cards to access our money. The added convenience of accessing your money with cards does bring with it risks, as cardholders can be the victims of fraud. There are several steps we can all take to help minimise the threat of fraud.

  • Guard your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and Internet banking Access Codes/passwords. Don’t tell anyone your PIN or Internet banking passwords or logon details. Don’t keep a record of the PIN or passwords anywhere near your card or computer. Don’t use the same PIN for more than one service.
  • Always check your statements. Check statements promptly and advise your financial institutions or card issuer of any unauthorised activity.
  • Store financial information securely. Keep financial records, statements and cards in a secure location or carry them with you. This includes ensuring items are delivered to a secure mailbox, not allowing salespeople to take your card out of your sight, and disposing of financial records and receipts securely.
  • Review your card limit. Consider lowering your credit card limit which would prevent a criminal spending more than the determined amount if the card was ever lost or stolen. This decision needs to be balanced with a card limit that is appropriate for your spending needs.
  • Be alert for suspicious activity around ATMs or EFTPOS. When entering your PIN at the ATM or EFTPOS machine, look around to ensure no-one is watching. Criminals may watch you from a nearby location, or behind you in a queue, as you enter your PIN. You may like to consider covering your hand as you enter in your PIN number (with your spare hand potentially), to avoid any hidden cameras installed above capturing your PIN information. If you see a device that doesn’t look like part of the normal ATM operation, keep a reasonable distance and contact your local police.
  • Be aware of hoax emails. Criminals can send hoax emails that look like they are from your financial institution or another business, and ask you to visit a fraudulent website, asking you to confirm your account information, including usernames and passwords. Remember that your financial institution will never send such a request via email.
  • Don’t assume that using your credit or debit card to make purchases over the phone or Internet is totally secure. Always take precautions when providing your card information over the phone or Internet to pay bills or make purchases. Use your common sense and only deal with trusted companies. If you are uncomfortable with the transaction, don’t do it. Make sure you have installed anti-virus and firewall software to secure your computer and that you keep it up to date before making purchases online.

 

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