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29 DECEMBER, 2021

Credit cards are valuable credit instruments to help us with easy cash whenever required. They are safe to use, offer an instant financial resolution to money crunch, and are easy to carry. Also called plastic money, credit cards have become increasingly popular with everyone who seeks immediate financial respite in times of cash crunch.

However, when it comes to credit cards, you need to keep a few key things in mind to ensure safe and fuss-free use always. Firstly, always make sure you check your credit card statement regularly to ensure there are no fraudulent charges. Secondly, be careful about who you give your credit card details to as not everyone can be trusted with the same.

Even while giving out your credit card information at the merchant stores and websites, always check and double-check if those platforms are safe to guard your credit card information from hackers.

To ensure a safe and uneventful credit card use at all times, here are some do's and don’ts while storing your credit card details anywhere:

1. Is Storing Credit Card Information Really Necessary?

Before you go about storing your credit card information anywhere, ask yourself this question – do I really need to do this. If you’re not a frequent online shopper or not a regular buyer at one place, you can obviously skip doing this to avoid any theft and fraudulent occurrences.

If you buy from an e-tailer frequently and trust the merchant, make sure you check their necessary safety certificates and licenses applicable in your area. This is important to safeguard you against theft issues. Once you’re done ensuring the privacy and safety certificates in place for the customers, you can store your credit card information with the vendor. However, make sure that you keep a vigilant eye and check credit card statements regularly for any unwanted transactions.

2. Check for Valid Safety Licenses

Most safe and verified e-commerce merchants have requisite safety licenses in place to invite their consumers for online transactions. These certificates and licenses vary for all regions and countries. Before you go on to transact or even save your credit card information for quick use the next time, make sure that you’re aware of the applicable safety licenses in your area. Only when you’re aware of the mandatory safety license a merchant must have can you check and ensure the safety of your credit card information. This is a crucial factor that determines the overall safety quotient of a vendor to a large extent.

3. Read the Privacy Policy Carefully

Most e-commerce websites allowing users to transact on their websites need to have a privacy policy in place. The privacy policy has to be adequately and correctly displayed on the website where users can take note of it.

Before setting out to transact at the merchant’s website or even storing your credit card details, always ensure you read the ‘privacy policy’ fine print carefully. The policy clearly explains the use of credit card information collected from the consumers and what the merchant intends to do with the same. The policy also outlines standard and specialized safety guidelines to ensure the protection of an instant credit card user’s sensitive information. Make sure you don’t miss reading the section where a merchant lets their users know what steps they need to take if such sensitive data is compromised or exposed. This will help you build trust with the merchant before you decide to transact with them.

4. Skip Proxy or Remote Applications While Transacting

When you’re transacting online or saving your credit card information for future use, make sure you’re doing it safely and in a safe virtual environment. If any merchant’s site or payment gateway asks you to switch to a proxy network for transacting, immediately close the browser. A secure merchant will never prompt its users to a directed platform to transact. Similarly, avoid getting on remote access applications while sharing your sensitive credit card information at any step. Such occurrences pose a high degree of risk to your credit card information and make it vulnerable for hackers to access.

5. Avoid Sharing Your Credit Card Information While on a Public Network

Avoid using the shared or public wireless networks available at coffee shops, parks, and other public places for online shopping and transactions. You can never guarantee the authenticity and safety of such wireless networks, and it may open several loopholes to the security of your sensitive credit card information. Similarly, while using a limited-access home wi-fi, make sure you never share the password with anyone other than your family or whom you can implicitly trust. A little caution here and there goes a long way in ensuring the safety of your credit card information from hackers and imposters.

The tips mentioned above are essential to be exercised while sharing your credit card information online. Make sure you consider them the next time you sit down to speak out your card details at any merchant website. Transacting with a credit card at safe merchant sites while considering the above tips is the only way to have more out of your shopping experience.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.