Massive security breaches at national retailers like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot have emphasized the importance of taking precautions when using a credit card. Here are some tips for keeping your credit cards and banking information safe and sound:

  • When shopping at stores, swipe your card front to back as many times as necessary to make sure you don’t leave any remnants of your credit card inside the machine.
  • Always give the ATM a swift kick to clear account information after a transaction.
  • Keep photo IDs of all your credit cards on you at all times.
  • Save your receipts, as you never know when a massive pile of unorganized paper may come in handy.
  • If you trust your cashier, arrange a discreet location to conduct the exchange.
  • Get a credit card with a shiny blue chip on it.
  • Now is as good a time as any to become one of those people who rails against consumerism.
  • Many thieves will place a “skimmer” inside swipers to read your card data, but there’s not much you can do about that.
  • Credit card companies can detect fraudulent purchases by comparing them to your usual buying habits, so try to live the most repetitive, predictable life possible.
  • Above all, don’t use your credit card at suspicious places of purchase, such as retailers that don’t give you a receipt, or the internet.