Secure your data when traveling

posted by Stephan Thomasee on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 in SHAZAM Blog

We’re into the lazy days of summer, and when traveling to new places it can be easy to forget best practices. To protect yourself while on vacation, take a few simple but effective precautions.

  • If you stop at the ATM before hitting the road, protect your transaction.
    • Before inserting your card, pull firmly on the card reader to make sure there aren’t any overlays. Fraudsters install overlay devices on top of the ATM equipment to capture your card’s magnetic stripe data. They’re usually very loose and will pull off easily. If this happens, take the overlay into the institution and report what you’ve found.
    • To help keep your PIN secure, shield your PIN entry with your hand. Fraudsters install mini cameras to spy on your PIN entry. Your hand is an effective block.
    • Follow these same steps when shopping at the store and using the point-of-sale device. Don’t assume the clerk is watching the point-of-sale device. They’re busy doing their job, and fraudsters know this. Those same overlay devices can be installed on a point-of-sale terminal in a matter of seconds. Don’t hesitate to give it a tug.
  • To ensure the safest shopping experience online, be sure the link starts with https. The “s” stands for secure. Also look for a padlock, which is usually found in the bar at the top of the screen next to the web address.
  • Turn off the autocomplete settings in your browser settings so your card data and personal information aren’t being stored. While it’s very convenient, it’s also not best practice.
  • Finally, be sure to monitor your transactions and report any discrepancies. If you find an unknown transaction, contact the service provider by calling the number on the back of the card. They’ll help you resolve the issue.
  • Implement fraud alerts offered by your financial institution. Set alerts to be notified when transactions are being made to protect your account from theft.
  • Many debit and credit cards are set to decline transactions when they’re from a different location. This is for your safety, yet your valid transactions may also be declined. Before you travel, call your financial institution to set a travel notice on your account to allow you to make purchases when you’re in a new location.

As the use of card and mobile payments increase, protecting personal information becomes increasingly important. Keep your card in a safe place and lock your account when it isn’t being used.

Have a wonderful summer and keep your accounts safe.


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