How to Safeguard Yourself Online:
How to Safely Use your Debit Card
Protect Your Personal Financial Information and your Mastercard® Debit Card
- Both PIN based and Signature based (credit) transactions with your debit card are safe, but using your debit card as a credit card offers a safer, more secure transaction. PIN numbers can be stolen or sometimes determined if the thief knows the owner. The signature based transaction can prove or disprove that you made the purchase and give you valuable evidence if fraud might have occurred. Mastercard® has a Zero Liability Policy for the signature based transactions that are conducted with your debit Mastercard® that protects you by only making you responsible for purchases you authorize. Learn more at their website.
- When making Internet purchases, use your debit card as a credit card.
- If and when you do choose to use your card for a PIN based transaction, memorize your PIN (personal identification number) and do not write it on your card or carry a piece of paper with your wallet that has the number on it.
- Choose E-Statements over paper statements to further protect your financial information. If you must choose paper statements, be sure to shred them before discarding them in the trash.
- Monitor your bank statements often and look for unauthorized activity. If you believe there is unauthorized activity, notify your bank immediately.
- Whenever you receive a new debit card in the mail, immediately cut up and discard the old card, then sign and activate your new card.
- Don’t share your computer passwords with other people, change passwords often and make them hard for others to guess.
- Close browser windows or log out of sites that you have entered your card information on for purchases.
- Install Internet/E-Mail Security software on your computer.
- Don’t respond to e-mails from people you do not know, do not open any attachments or click on any links that may be included.
- Use Internet browsing software that has encryption, only use software from reputable companies.
Online, E-Mail or Phishing Schemes
- E-Mail fraud or “phishing” involves criminal activity conducted via e-mail. They usually request personal information such as social security numbers or account numbers in order to provide you with further information about what they are offering.
- Phishing criminals might solicit this information from you and sell it others who use it for illegal activity. These types of e-mail solicitations usually have subject lines that grab your attention, like “your account has been compromised” or “you’re a winner”.Learn more about On-Line Safety at the US governments OnGuard Online website.
Helpful information is available on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.
Information available on this site will walk you through the steps that should be taken in the event your identity has been compromised.
Threats and Our Response
Occasionally there are viruses and security related threats that may affect our services. We report on them below: