Credit and Debit Card Security

Using cards to pay for stuff is very convenient. Unfortunately, in the wrong hands, your cards can be used to steal your money. Do you know how to protect yourself? It is important to understand that you may be held responsible for losses if you are negligent with your cards.

The Basics:

  • Keep your cards in a safe place and never leave them unattended.
  • When using your debit card ensure that your personal identification number (PIN) is hidden and no one is looking over your shoulder to get it.
  • Choose a PIN that does not contain obvious information that can be linked to you, such as your phone number or your birthday. Never disclose your PIN number, even to friends.
  • Before sending your personal information (address, phone number, credit card number) over the Internet, always make sure that the Web site you're providing information to uses encryption to keep your data secure. There should be a padlock symbol in the bottom right corner of your Web browser.
  • Keep track of the transactions on your debit and credit card accounts. With many accounts, you can retrieve your account information online. Call your bank or credit card company immediately if you suspect that someone else is purchasing things with your card.
  • Before throwing away documents containing your personal information (e.g. credit card receipts, financial statements, old credit and debit cards, tax forms, computer storage devices, etc.), destroy them (cut up, shred, erase).

Helpful Web Sites:

  • Learn your rights and responsibilities surrounding debit and credit card fraud from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
  • Protect yourself against debit card fraud by taking advantage of the information put together by Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs.