2022-08-11

Bank card digital security checklist. Ways to keep your data safe and protect against fraud

Bank cards and electronic money have made our lives easier and, in many ways, safer. However, the pickpockets of yesterday too have taken theft to the next level. 

Here is a detailed checklist on how to protect your money and bank card details from fraud.

Do not disclose your card details 

These details should not be shared with anyone, no matter what the circumstance:

  • card number,
  • cardholder’s name,
  • card expiration date,
  • CVV/CVC number.

The CVV/CVC is a 3-digit security code on the back of the card. It is essentially the pin code of the card for online transactions. Not all online shops provide 3D Secure verification, that is, an additional security code sent via SMS or PUSH notification.

Employees of the bank, payment system, shop, or any financial institution will not ask for your card number or other details. If they do, you may be the victim of fraud.

What are the numbers on the front and back of a bank card called

One trick to keep your CVV/CVC safe is to write it down or memorize it, erase it from the card, and keep it separately. If a fraudster gets their hands on the card, they won't be able to make any online purchases without knowing the security code. This is not a binding recommendation. A card with a scratched CVV/CVC may be rejected. Yet, it has never been the case in our practice.

Secure information that may be requested by bank employees for the purposes of identification:

  • last 4 digits of your card number,
  • contract number,
  • memorable word,
  • date of birth,
  • ID/passport details.

If you get a call from the bank and you are in doubt whether it’s a bank employee who has called you, hang up and call back using the official number on the back of your card, or contact your bank via online bank chat.

Set complex PINs and strong passwords

A secure PIN code and proper password storage are also important security factors:

  • If you have several cards, use a different PIN for each card.
  • The PINs must be complex. The date of birth will not do, and the digits must not repeat.
  • Do not store passwords, PINs, or CVV/CVCs in unencrypted form on your computer or in cloud services.

How to create a strong password and where to store it:

  • Use a combination of lower-case and upper-case letters, punctuation, hyphens and numbers.
  • To make it easier to remember, you can think of a phrase such as BetterNeverThanLate;90.
  • You can store passwords in password managers or, for example, write the first letters of the passphrase in encrypted notes: BNTL;90.
Examples of safe and unsafe passwords

Lower the risk of online payments

To mitigate the risks of losing money when paying online:

  • Get an additional or virtual card. Top it up with exactly the amount of your purchase.
  • Carefully check the site name in the browser address bar. Fraudsters create duplicate sites, e.g., bookking.com instead of booking.com.
  • Make sure the payment page starts with https and not http.
  • Do not share the 3D Secure code with anyone. It’s a transaction verification code sent via SMS or PUSH notification.
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully, and make sure you haven’t subscribed to any additional charges or recurrent payments you wouldn’t want to subscribe to.

General security recommendations

  • Set spending limits.
  • Have a separate card for online shopping.
  • Do not disclose your card details to anyone.
  • Create strong PINs and passwords for different cards and services

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