How much credit card security is too much?

Fox Business recently published an article on “How to avoid credit card security overkill.”  And I started wondering how much security was too much?  This article mentions:

“Refusing to give your credit card to a waiter.”

Is this security or silly?  I admit that in our household we prefer to operate on a cash basis when it comes to going out to dinner, but that is a personal finance decision not a security issue.  The fear that some credit card users may have is that a waiter could “skim” the credit card number and create clones.   However, the Washington, D.C.-based National Restaurant Association director of media relations for Annika Stensson,  says to relax. “Like every other merchant, they must comply with standards, and those requirements have double and triple security,” says Stensson. Restaurants “don’t store PIN data, the point-of-sale (POS) systems are customized, and they don’t use passwords.” Bad eggs are weeded out, too. “It’s in the best interest of restaurants to keep transactions safe since they rely on repeat customers,” says Stensson, stressing that owners and managers aren’t afraid to press criminal charges against thieves.”

I was wondering how many of you think twice about giving your credit card to a waiter.

Next it discusses “Not purchasing anything online.”

Does this really happen?  I admit my mother doesn’t like to, but I think it’s because she hates computers, and yes does distrust most places security measures.  But oddly enough, she pays her bills online.  There are many benefits to shopping online, as long as you do it safely.  Use reputable stores, like the brick and mortar ones that have gone into the virtual world and look for the “S” or TRUSTe symbol to indicate security on the site.  As identitytheftsecrets has warned before, never give out your credit card information in an email.

(What’s in your email? Could it be your credit card number?)

Cash or charge? Why cash only of course!  Some may say that cash only is actually a good way to balance your budget. However, if you are planning to buy a car or purchase a house at some point in time in the future, then credit and a credit score are going to be needed.  After all, who walks into a store with $900 cash to purchase their big screen TV.  If someone steals my wallet, the money is going.  If someone steals my credit card, if I act fast enough the money may be saved.

Security or insecurity that is the question. Monitoring your statements on a regular basis is good.  Pulling your credit report constantly isn’t security but insecurity.   Don’t let your fears bring you to tears as you waste time and money.

Don’t be afraid to get help.  No legitimate financial counselor or credit counseling service is going to yell out you. Your appointments are confidential and not reported to anyone you are in debt to or to a credit counseling service.

To avoid many of the legitimate credit card frauds and thefts out there, the most important thing to do is to actually monitor your credit and review your statements.  Once a month is nice, but every week should be the review schedule that you seek.

So, how much credit card security is too much or not enough?

 

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