Helpful tips

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  • Sign the card as soon as you receive it. Memorise the pin. Never write the pin on the back of your card or, worse still, keep the pin in your wallet. You may be risking big-time if you include your pin with your contacts on your mobile. See above for more helpful tips about memorising your pin.

  • Make sure you keep your card safe and destroy the pin upon receipt. Don’t ever tell anyone your pin or write it down.

  • Many banks invite you to change your pin to any number of your choice. However, don’t choose a number which, with some trial and error, anyone would be able to guess it (such as your birthday).

  • Keep a photocopy of your cards (front and back) in a secure place at home. You may find the photocopy useful if your bank is investigating unauthorised use of your card by other persons.

  • Never lend your cards to others.

  • Card numbers, PIN and other financial identification details should never be sent in an e-mail message.

  • Settle any credit card bills monthly and if possible avoid accruing bills because interest is charged on any outstanding amounts. If this is not possible, you should ensure that the minimum repayment amount displayed on the statement is paid on time.

  • Remember your bank’s 24 hour number. If you find that your card has been lost or stolen, you have to call the bank straight away and notify the loss/theft.

  • If you notice any unauthorised transactions in your statement, inform the bank as soon as possible and within 13 months from the debit dates. If you are required by the bank to report the incident to the police you must do so within 7 days of the request. If you do not adhere to these instructions, or to any other instructions your bank may give you, you might risk not having these transactions reversed.

  • Do not write PIN numbers with credit/debit cards or on your mobile phone.

  • As is the case for passwords, one should protect the PIN as if it were his/her house key. A password is personal and should never be divulged to anyone.

Don’t let your cards or your card details out of sight when making a transaction. Ensure that the transaction is conducted in your presence.

  • When using your card at an ATM, always take ATM receipts with you. Never dispose of them in the bin adjacent to the ATM.

  • When entering your PIN in an ATM or shop, shield the keypad with your spare hand. Be aware from any persons offering assistance while using the ATM.

  • When you use your cards to make a purchase, make sure that the amount on the transaction voucher produced by the shop for your signature matches the amount of the purchase.

 

Have you ever thought of the many ways you can buy most goods and services from the comfort of your own home: on-line, over the phone, on your doorstep or from a catalogue.

If you intend purchasing on-line, make sure you use safe and reliable sites in order to safeguard your online security, especially your financial information:

  • Always do your on-line shopping from a trusted site rather than choosing a random one suggested by a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. If you know the site, chances are it is less likely you will be ripped off. Check out their after-sales too.

  • Do not keep your passwords, login details and PINs written down.

  • Never give card account numbers over the phone unless you are certain that the person on the other side of the line is reputable.

  • Never ever respond to e-mails requesting your credit card details. Reputable banks and organisations do not request your personal details by e-mail.

  • Never continue your online purchase using your credit or debit card from a site that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You'll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar, depending on your browser.

  • The importance of having software that detects the presence of malicious programmes or unauthorised access to one’s computer can never be overemphasised. Having security software (such as an anti-virus programme, firewall) not only protects the computer system itself but also the information stored within. One has to ensure that security software is always active, updated regularly and is capable of scanning files received through e-mail messages as well as those downloaded from internet websites. Security is not the only issue to keep in mind when using plastic cards. These cards may be subject to a daily transaction limit; this may vary from bank to bank and between different types of cards such as the normal classic card or a gold card. Banks normally impose a maximum amount on the monetary value of cash withdrawals and payments for goods and services, so you might want to check these limits before committing yourself to a particular purchase transaction to avoid any disappointments.

  • Ensure that you agree with the amount to be charged to your card when ordering items over the Internet. This amount may include shipping, postage, handling and packing fees. Keep copies of all invoices/correspondence indicating the description and cost of the ordered items.

  • Access internet banking or shopping sites by typing the address into your web browser. Never go to websites from a link in an email then enter personal details. Also Beware of spelling mistakes or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example). These may not be legitimate sites and their intensions may not be genuine. Although the prices on these sites might look enticing, it is their trick to tempt you into giving up your personal and payment details.

  • Use strong passwords when using online shopping websites. Remember that most of the sites save your personal information and card details to make shopping easier and less time consuming. However, if your account is accessed, your personal information would end up compromised. Also make sure you change your password periodically just in case it has been compromised without your knowledge.

  • Do not use online shopping website, or internet banking sites, from internet café’s or public terminals like local council computers. If you do, just remember to log out every time you use a public terminal, even if you were just checking email. Also beware when browsing using an open Wi-Fi network. If you are in a public space, apart from unauthorised access to your computer you might get someone snooping over your shoulders to get your details.

What if the goods you have ordered and paid for online have not arrived? Click here for the relative Q&A section relative to chargebacks.

 



Last updated: Sep 07, 2016