We have had a number of clients who have had their credit cards compromised over the years. While it has never happened to me personally I understand the basics. Maybe that is why I’ve never been compromised. Here are a few techniques I use. Hope this helps.

  1. Secure passwords are most important. You can check your password strength on this website: https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/
    A difficult to guess but easy to remember password is using your phone number from when you were a kid. Most of us had to memorize our home phone numbers. Use parenthesis and dashes or dots between numbers. Also convert at least 2 numbers to letters that correspond to your letters, one upper case and one lower case. It would look something like this (212)-Du4-7269 . According to the website I linked to above it would take 200 Million years for a computer to crack it. Note: that is a single computer and hackers use multiple machines.
  2. Use different passwords for email and other website log-ins like financial institutions. It is one thing to have your email or Social Media account hacked and quite another to have your financial information compromised.
  3. When making online purchases make sure it is a legitimate website with an https:// in front of the domain name. Also, make sure you did not click a link from your email. Go to the website directly. Hackers are good at creating links and pages that look legitimate but are not.
  4. Always use your credit card rather than your ATM card for online purchases and while traveling. You are afforded more protection with a credit card than an ATM card in most cases.
  5. It may also be a good idea to use a credit card shield. There are tons on Amazon. Just pick one that fits your needs.
  6. When dining out or making purchases make sure you watch what happens to your card. While it does not often happen a waitress or other person with your card can easily make a copy. All the information needed to make an online purchase is on that card. Even if they do not use it themselves there are those who would buy the information. This is especially true in a tourist area. Again, use your credit card and not your ATM card.
  7. If giving your credit card info to a person that needs it rather than email or regular text message you can use the Signal App. It is much more secure than email or normal text. If you must use email you can divide up the information so it is not all in one email.
  8. If you use phone apps to pay make sure your phone is fingerprint protected.
  9. Use Two Factor Authorization (2FA) if available for banking and other accounts you want to keep secure.

I am sure there is much more to say on this subject. On a final note, make sure your family members follow the same protocols.