Personal Finance a presentation protecting your credit from theft or loss. Prepare to get financially fit by practicing personal finance. In a prior presentation, we discussed actions we might want to take if our identity had been stolen with regards to credit. Now we want to think about those proactive kind of steps that we can take in order to safeguard and prevent our identity from being stolen to prevent theft related to credit. So protecting your credit from theft or loss.
So firstly, the documentation that we have with regards to credit, which may still be coming in the mail, we might have information from our credit card company and other creditors in the mail, or we might be getting it in some digital format. However we’re receiving it, we want to make sure that we dispose of that information properly. Meaning if you get the paper documentation, and you’re through with that documentation, typically you want to shred that documentation so that that sensitive information has been disposed of properly.
If you’re getting that information from a website, for example, and retrieving it there, you want to make sure that you have a secure connection to the website when you’re accessing the information. If you’re getting it by email, which is more and more common, you got to make sure that your email is a secure email that you’re receiving in on it. And if you’re saving the data in a digital format, that the place you’re saving it to whether that be on your actual hard drive, or somewhere on the cloud is a secure place to be saving that data as well. Close your accounts immediately if you suspect an identity thief has access has access to the account.
So this is something that seems somewhat obvious, but it’s often you could overlook it these days, because it is inconvenient to to adjust or change the account to close down the account, possibly set up a new account, possibly get another credit card number or something like that, because that means that all the automatic transactions that you have set up, which could be more and more these days, given the fact that a lot of online kind of activity is done through the credit cards will have to be reset up and adjusted most likely. So if you’re not completely sure, if it has been compromised, then you might kind of hesitate to do that.
But generally, it would be the good wise decision to do because even you know, the time it takes to reset up those kind of payment systems is is nothing compared to the pain that you’d go through. If you have to deal with credit, theft, and it becomes significant that you can have to deal with in the future. So if you can get to it proactively and and solve the problem, by basically removing the account as quick as possible, that’s usually going to be the fastest and easiest way to go. Even though it can cause some inconvenience, stop payments of checks if you suspect fraud. So you want to stop the payments. If you accept if you expect fraud, they’re protecting your credit from theft or loss, be sure your credit card is returned after purchase.
So if you’re using your credit card in a store, then and you’re giving someone the credit card, obviously that has some sensitive information on it, you want to make sure that they’re returning the credit card at that time, keep a record of credit card numbers. So typically, you know you’re going to have you gotta have the credit card number on your account, you also want to you know, have a record of the credit card numbers in the event that the card is lost or something like that, or in the event that you need to verify transactions, and so on and so forth. And where do you store the credit card numbers, maybe maybe you want to store them on a hardcopy kind of thing.
So it’s not on the computer, obviously, you want to make sure that it’s stored in someplace where it’s a secure location, whether it be on the computer, or whether it be in some other area. So that you’re keeping that sensitive information safe as well. I notified your credit card company immediately if your card is lost or stolen. So clearly, if you lose your card that can increase the risk of some problem happening. And you want to make sure that you take action right away. It’s one of those things, like we talked a little bit about in the prior presentations, where if there is a problem, if someone was to steal information, then you’d like to identify it as soon as possible,
because that’s going to give you a lot more leeway that’s gonna give you a lot more credibility when you’re trying to say, hey, look, I didn’t make these charges. These charges aren’t mine. And they’re gonna say, Well, why didn’t you take action sooner? And and you just say, you know, I feel like my credit card was last like a month ago and I didn’t, right, it’ll be a lot easier if you say yeah, I lost my credit card. This is exactly when I lost it. Here’s the action I took. Here’s me calling my credit card company. This is exactly where I lost it when I lost it how I lost it. And then if there’s charges on the credit card, it’ll be you’ll have a lot better case generally apt to move forward.
So you want to make sure to take action immediately again, so that later on you can you can kind of verify what you’ve done so protecting your credit information on the internet. So obviously a lot of transactions are happening online with regards to the credit card. Now, so you want to use a secure browser. So make sure when you’re browsing on the internet, you have a secure access. Also, of course, the websites that you’re using, you know, certain websites were becoming more and more comfortable on saying that they believing that they have a secure access point to give them credit card information.
So when you’re dealing with something like an Amazon in the United States, or something that has so many transactions, we feel fairly comfortable. Most people do that their credit card information system is, you know, secure other websites. If you’re dealing with other websites and other stores that aren’t so well known, you may not feel that same kind of security, other kind of resources, such as payments through like PayPal, and whatnot, can have a third party resource that can give a level of security over and above you could trust generally, it’s better to trust PayPal a little bit more than a random website that just wants your credit card number without going through a third party like a pay pal or something like that.
So you want to keep those kinds of things in mind, too. Just in terms of the website, is it a secure store that you’re working with? Is this a brand that you trust? Are you doing something with Amazon or something? What I what I think their security is fairly good? Or is this a website? I’ve never done business with weak before they have a neat thing here? If so, are they working with a third party in order to process the credit cards, which I would trust more something like a PayPal or stripe, or something like that, that I would want to work with them.
And if not, then possibly, you know, whatever you want to purchase there, see if you can find it somewhere else, right. So keep records of the transactions made online. So when you make transactions online, you know, a lot of times people just, you know, we just purchase things fairly easily these these days. And we might not keep the same kind of records, we would if we were to write a paper check or something like that, but it’s best to keep the records, because that gives you the double check between what you have purchased and, you know, to to what the what the bank shows, so review and reconcile monthly bank and credit card statements.
Now, the bank statement is something that you can reconcile each each month. So we talked a little bit about that in a prior presentation, we have our records, and the bank has their records. And we can basically double check them. And that helps us to verify if someone did steal our money, and when they started making payments, we should be able to find it like within a month, because we’ll reconcile what we put down compared to what the bank says. And if there’s some kind of difference, then we should be able to look into it. The same could be with a credit card.
Now a lot of people don’t do it with the credit card. Because the whole point like the convenience of the credit card, the thing that’s so nice about it as well as a debit card and whatnot is that you can make payments, and that it happens automatically. And you don’t have any you don’t need, you know, you’re not recording the record of it. And so if you do that, then you want to review, you want to make sure you’re reviewing the credit history periodically to see that the charges are correct and appropriate. But it would be better if you would actually log down the charges that you make, as as you go.
So that so that you can then compare that in a reconciliation process software has the same capacity to do this as with the bank statement, salt with its accounting software, like QuickBooks or zero, or wait a wave accounting, I think is another one, you can basically do a reconciliation for the for the credit cards in a similar way to the bank. And that gives you that kind of double verification. So that would be best. But if you’re not recording the credit card information as you go, you want to of course at least review it from time to time so that any kind of charges that you do not think are legitimate or you have questions about you don’t recognize the vendor, then you want to take a look at that a lot of credit card kind of crimes and whatnot.
Some of them they get kind of crafted it get kind of sneaky at it, they might have a small charge that they put on their monthly so that they can so that they could basically it’s under your radar possibly, and you don’t really notice it for a long period of time. So any kind of thing that you don’t recognize the vendor, you don’t know why you’re paying them, you usually want to go in and and check it out. So read the privacy and security policies of websites you visit. So again, the websites that you visit, if you’re giving a website, your credit card information, just make sure that you we talked about that prior, but just make sure that you’re verifying the website,
to anyone clearly and don’t download files sent by strangers. So from just a security on the on the computer component often this relates to a phishing kind of scam you want whether you go to a website or whether you go to a your emails. You know, if you download the files that are that are emailed to you or from a website which you do not trust, then you can have malicious software on those type of things which could compromise obviously your computer and cause you problems in that way. So you want to be careful downloading any files