Here’s How You Can Make Your Chip Credit Card More Secure

chip cards

Mixed reviews; all I’ve been hearing when it comes to the new chip credit cards. These EMV cards are designed to make shopping and spending money easier and more secure for all of us, but what’s up with all the stress and hassle using them? Complaints about denials when machines are not working adequately, insistence that the new chip cards will not work when run like typical debit or credit card, stories of how that actually works just fine, and people everywhere being denied their purchases unless they have a backup method of payment due to the fact that the new machines rolling out to accept chip cards are filled with glitches.

I’m not expert, but I know all new things require a little time before they are considered a raging success, and these new secure cards are no exception to the rule. When it comes to the new chip cards, you’re more secure. It’s less likely you will become the victim of any sort of fraud and both your personal and financial information is far more secure with these cards. Eventually, the glitches will be worked out and there will be nothing to worry about. Until then, we have a few suggestions that might help you ensure that you are keeping your own care more secure, less likely to be taken and far better for spending.

At the moment there are more than 400 million new chip cards being used across the world; and more will come. They work because the transfer of information from one card to another machine is unique with every use. It’s nearly impossible for hackers and other machines to read cards with these chips since they are uniquely able to work differently with each swipe. The problem with these cards, however, is that they are only more secure when you use them in person. When they are used online or over the phone, they are just as insecure as any other credit card on the market. So, how can you make your chip card more secure so that you can use it to make purchases from afar without worrying your information will be stolen and used by someone other than yourself to make fraudulent purchases? Easy; we have a few expert tips that might make that entirely possible for you.

ShopSafe Accounts

Did you know that there are a number of banks currently offering cards that come complete with their own unique PIN that must be entered when checking out so that it works without worry? Bank of America offers the ShopSafe account that provides this information to you. Additionally, Citibank also offers a program very similar to this called the Virtual Account. Accounts of this nature allow you to shop online with a unique PIN for every transaction so that you can ensure your card is being used safely. Sign up for an account like this and you can make your online shopping that much more secure.

MasterCard and Visa both have programs like this for specific cards, too.

Use PayPal

Another great alternative to using your card is to use PayPal when you check out. This prevents you from having to use your card number when you are shopping online, and you are then eligible to remain as safe as possible. I love PayPal. I woke up a few months ago to find an email in my inbox from the middle of the night letting me know that my transfer to my PayPal account was going through from my bank and that I would receive an email when the funds were deposited after 3 to 5 business days. The amount that was transferred from my bank account to my PayPal account was a staggering $3,000. Fortunately, they do not do immediate transfers, so I was able to call both my bank and my PayPal account representative to inform them this was not my doing. My account information was promptly changed and my transfer stopped since it was clear someone had hacked my account and worked to take money from me without my knowledge.

PayPal is highly secure, and a great company to use when checking out so that no credit card information is ever exchanged on any purchase. You can link your debit or credit card or your bank account to your PayPal account so that they can do the work transferring money for you when you make a purchase.

Be Safe

The only other thing we can tell you is to be safe. Keep your card away from strangers. Do not hold it out in the store so that anyone can snap a photo of it and get your card number. Do not leave it unattended at a table in a restaurant, use cash when possible and always be sure you are on a secure computer. My husband, a banker, dislikes when I save my card information to my accounts with my favorite stores, so he encourages me not to do that, too. Remember – when a retailer only requires that you sign for a purchase without asking for a PIN, anyone can use your card. Unless you use a PIN transaction, chances are good that the card can be used by anyone. Remember to write “ASK FOR ID” on the back of your card. If a cashier fails to do so and a customer has a chance to run the card as credit requiring only a signature, you run the risk that anyone can use the card.

The moral of the story is that you still have to work hard to be vigilant and secure with your financial information. There is only so much that can be done to protect you without you actually protecting yourself. Be sure you are following the rules, doing what you need to do and taking no unnecessary chances with your financial information and you will do well.

Photo by Getty Images

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