How can I keep my credit card information safe?

There are several ways you can keep your credit card information safe from thieves and hackers:

1. Keep your card in sight when paying. While rare, a waiter or retail clerk could steal your card information while you aren’t looking.

2. Don’t pay for goods online using a public hotspot. Unsecured wireless networks, especially public hotspots, are vulnerable to eavesdropping or “evil twin” attacks, where you are fooled into using a hacker’s wireless network instead of the real public one. Only enter your credit card data (or log into your bank account) on a secure network.

3. Before you pay online, first, be sure you are buying from a reputable company. Then look in the browser address bar for the “s” (secure) in https://… Click on the padlock to check that the site belongs to the company you think it does.

4. Never pay online from a PC that is not thoroughly protected with up-to-date anti-spyware and anti-virus software.

5. Request from your bank a credit card that supports a security feature for online purchases called MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa. These cards give you added protection using a PIN code that you must enter to authorize online purchases.

6. When traveling, note the card and customer service numbers. Keep them in a place other than your wallet or purse, so if you lose your cards you know whom to call to turn them off.

7. Monitor transaction activity, shred paper statements that show the account number, and frequently check your credit report.