Are You Using These Security Features to Keep Your Credit Cards Safe?

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Between shopping for groceries and paying bills, we make countless credit card transactions every day. It’s a lot to manage, and it only becomes more complicated when you consider that Americans own more than four credit cards on average. No matter how many you have, it’s important to keep your credit cards safe and secure. Why?

For one, simply owning a credit card may put you at risk of fraud and identity theft—common financial threats that have only become more prominent. In 2022, the total value of fraud soared to $219 million, signifying a substantial 21% rise from the previous year.  One of the reasons credit card fraud is so prevalent is because it can occur in many different ways. For instance, someone can steal and use your card, set up a new account in your name, or access your accounts through large-scale data breaches.

Knowing these risks, regularly changing your PIN, and creating unique passwords for your online banking accounts can minimize your chances of falling victim to these attacks—but those are just the first steps. There are several other precautions you can take to protect your credit cards.

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Security Features to Keep Your Credit Cards Safe

Three Ways to Safeguard Your Credit Cards

By using a combination of the below credit card security features and services, you can keep an eye on both your spending habits and account activity.

1. Set Up Alerts & Controls

It can be difficult to manage the purchases you make with one credit card, let alone multiple cards. If you’re struggling to keep track of when and where you’re spending money, Citadel's Online & Mobile Banking can help. You can set up card controls to turn cards on and off if they're misplaced or stolen, set spending limits, or manage the locations where your cards can be used. These controls provide an extra layer of security that's fully customized to your habits and preferences.

You can also set up custom alerts to receive instant notification of suspicious activity. Timing is key to early fraud detection, which is why many banks and credit unions, including Citadel, allow their members to set up account alerts in Online Banking via text message, push notification, and/or email. You can decide when you receive alerts and the level of detail they provide, so you're always up to date on your credit card activity. If anything unexpected or suspicious arises, contact us right away.

2. Invest in Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft protection services are also offered by most banks and credit unions. Citadel’s ID theft subscription packages, for example, provide members with a broad range of products for fraud prevention and account recovery—including credit monitoring and score tracking. In addition, our Recovery Advocates can help to remediate false transactions, accounts, and contracts.

3. Opt for Contactless Cards

Thanks to a small EMV chip that acts as another set of eyes on your spending, going contactless is another way to detect fraudulent behavior and keep your credit cards safe. Many terminals have strict limits on how much can be paid with tap. Not only that, but there are also safeguards in place if too many small transactions are made with a contactless card. When this limit is exceeded, cards and PINs will be automatically locked to prevent unauthorized spending. Tapping the card itself or adding it your mobile wallet and using Apple Pay or Google Pay ensures an additional layer of security with unique transaction codes, so your full card information is never shared.

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