We regularly hear news stories about people losing their identity to unsympathetic thieves who have breached security measures and caused consumers financial troubles for months, and even years, to come. The one thing that this security concern does bring about is that consumers are now being more proactive about their own financial practices. More people are shredding their important papers and using stronger passwords to protect their vital information.
One avenue consumers can use to protect themselves is by using credit cards. Without a doubt, paying for purchases both online and off using a major credit card can bring you a piece of mind you may not get using other sources. Because the credit card company is essentially paying for your credit card purchase, it is their money that is going to the vendor. If the transaction is unauthorized, the credit card company will put up a fight to protect their money, making it less likely you as the card holder, will become a victim of fraud. In fact, most credit card companies promise to never make you pay for unauthorized charges. $50 is the maximum a card holder would be responsible to pay, provided the loss or stolen credit cards is reported back to the credit card company in a timely manner.
While you may opt to only spend cash or use a debit card, the issue with that method is that once you lose actual cash, there is a small likelihood that cash will be returned to you. When using a debit card, it can be even more difficult to deal with theft because your debit card is linked to your bank account. On the occasion that a thief should get access to your debit card, they could essentially wipe out your entire account. Whereas with a credit card you would only have to pay $50 max for unauthorized charges, with a debit card you could have to pay back up to $500 for fraudulent charges. This can be detrimental to your entire financial livelihood because if you don’t notice your card is missing and do not report it, you might have to pay back the entire amount.
Credit card companies incorporate many different protection aspects into your agreement. While some people may opt not to use a credit card to prevent debt, they could be harming themselves in other ways. Using a credit card responsibly can prevent debt issues provided you pay off your balance each month and not overspend. You can also help to be more proactive about how you handle your information. Never give anyone your credit card to use and never provide credit card information to anyone whose identity you can not confirm. Staying safe financially isn’t impossible. It just takes some commitment and common sense.