Protecting your card data is about more than just protecting your PIN.
In the modern Digital savvy world that we live in, information seen on your Bank card becomes crucial in completing online transactions. This is why it becomes important to not only protect your PIN but also the details on the surface of your Bank card.
Be vigilant to:
Never share your full card number or any information on your Bank card with anyone, such as, the full card number, the expiry date and the card verification value. These information are the gateway to your account and to completing a telephonic or online transaction. Protect this information like you would protect your wallet. Anyone with access to this information can use it to conduct a CNP (Card Not Present) transaction.
If you have to share your card details with another person, only give them the first 6 and last 4 digits of your card number, masking the most critical numbers. Do this in all your communications whether hard or soft copy or telephonic. Omitting the middle 6 numbers of the Bank card protects your account from unauthorized access. No one, not even your bank, should ask you for the full card number under any circumstances. Be suspicious of anyone (or any email) requesting this information.
Never take a photo or make a copy of your Bank card for any reason. This in effect creates a duplicate of your card and it increases the risk of confidential information getting into the wrong hands. Most Smart phones have embedded apps like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and these phones enable easy sharing and distribution of photos. Sometimes sensitive and confidential photos are shared by mistake on these platforms, and once 'out there', it is near impossible to retract them. You can delete it on your wall but someone else could have already taken a photo and is now in possession of your Bank card details.
Destroy expired Bank cards and card related information properly. An expired Bank card number combined with a non-expired date and a random CVV number (three or four digit number at the back of your card) can sometimes still 'authorise'. Destroying expired Bank cards by fire or by cutting it up into small pieces and disposing of these pieces separately will greatly reduce the chances of an unauthorised 'hack' of valid information.
Only transact with trusted and secured websites. Do research to confirm that a site is a legitimate online merchant. This can be as simple as asking a trusted friend if they know and have used the site. Look out for the 's' in the HTTPS, which it denotes a secure or encrypted link, and a green padlock icon in the URL (in the first part of a web address).
When conducting a POS transaction in a shop, always keep your card within view and watch out for skimming devices. Skimming devices at Point of Sale equipment are sometimes bulky and obvious. If your card is swiped on your behalf or out of your sight, it might be subjected to an alien device that copies the confidential information needed to create a clone of your card. Always swipe or 'dip' your card personally, and familiarise yourself with what a typical POS device looks like, so that you can spot any anomalies.