If you’ve ever had your credit card hacked, you know that it’s more than just a hassle.

There’s the difficulty of getting a new credit card, updating all your automatic payments to delete your old information and include the new account number, and filing a report with your credit issuer, and possibly your bank and even the police. But beyond that, it feels like an invasion; a personal attack on your security and your personal information.

To prevent this unfortunate, yet common, occurrence from happening to you, there are several things you can do to ensure the safety of your sensitive personal data. Financial, technology, and security experts recommend the following actions to thwart would-be thieves:

1. Never click on a strange link. If someone emails you with a link to click on, and you either don’t know the person, or don’t know what the link is supposed to be for, don’t click on it. Hackers often send emails that look like they came from your bank, your credit issuer, or someone you know, hoping you’ll click their link, which will then take you to a site that can steal your information. If you’re not sure, don’t click.4 Common Mistakes That Lead To Credit Card Fraud

2. Secure your wireless network. If you use Wi-Fi to access your financial accounts, always make sure you’re on a secure network, not on public Wi-Fi. A secure network asks you to enter a password to get access, and protects your information.

3. Beware of calls asking for information. If someone calls you and claims to be from your bank or other financial institution, be wary. They should never ask you for your account number, social security number, birthdate, mother’s maiden name, or any other personal information. Only give this information to someone on a call you have initiated, when you know exactly who you’re talking to. When in doubt, ask them for their name and number so you can call them back – and then hang up.

4. Shred your documents. Thieves can go through your trash, looking for account numbers and other sensitive information that could give them a way to hack your card. Go paperless if possible; if you still get paper statements and letters, shred them before throwing them away.

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