How to choose a good credit card PIN

Choosing a good credit card PIN number is probably the first security measure we should take to protect our cards.

Year after year the crimes committed by credit card frauds are not only maintained, they grow. The widespread use of cards through the Internet is certainly an element that has to do with this fact, but also, that we do not always apply the correct security measures to our cards.

It is curious how a very important part of the crimes committed with credit cards are carried out through the simple impersonation of the cardholder by entering the secret number or PIN number of the card.

For a good security of our cards, as we have already indicated, it is basic that we take into account a good choice of this secret number. This is the first of the security measures and in many cases the most important.

How to choose a good credit card PIN number

Credit cards have accompanied our personal finances for decades, but it is really in the last 30 years that they have exploded to become a payment method that has overtaken cash payment by far.

As is often the case in periods of transition from one product to another, or from one way of paying to another in this case, we still tend to remain attached to practices related to the old model. This is something that can be seen very clearly in the choice of secret credit card numbers.

It is obvious that nowadays nobody is going to put their date of birth as the PIN number of the card, but it is also true that we do not tend to overcomplicate our lives when choosing this number, worse, we look for numbers that are easy to memorize and, another mistake, we tend not to modify these numbers practically never.

In general nowadays the mistake of putting numbers with obvious personal relationships has more to do with older people who are not used to the use of new technologies and are very jealous of their financial products, i.e. people who think they will not expose their cards and want to keep secret numbers easy to remember. Numbers such as birthdays, age combinations, home numbers, are quite common and not very recommendable since they are also the first numbers and combinations that criminals use when they try to use our cards fraudulently.

When we first receive a credit card we are offered a secret number that is generated automatically. These numbers are generated with all kinds of guarantees, it is true, but it is more than advisable to modify them and put your own number from the very first moment. Obviously this becomes even more necessary when we receive the cards by mail or if the automatic codes have not been generated in our presence, since in both cases we can doubt about the security of the issuance or about the access of third parties to the numbers.

Obviously there is no perfect number but there is a combination of elements that we can take into account to protect our card as much as possible. In the first place we must choose random numbers but to flee from the obvious, combinations like 1234, repetitions of numbers with a single modification 1112, or similar are never good ideas. We must think that four digits are really very easy to memorize and that it will be much more practical and effective to make a small effort to memorize a totally new and random number than to use as a reference another code easier to access.

So the first element is to look for random numbers, not to resort to any kind of combination or modification of numbers that are not common.

Secondly, a very healthy habit for the security of our keys and passwords, and that we do not usually implement, is to update our secret numbers from time to time. Here again there is no magic wand to know what is the most appropriate time for these modifications, it will depend a lot on the degree of exposure of our cards in this case. If we regularly use the Internet card or make a lot of face-to-face payments with it, it is interesting to make at least one change of password per year.

Of course, in addition to the above, it is necessary to add logical questions such as, for example, never carry the secret number with you, and even, if we have it written down at home, try to do it in a disguised way, for example, in alternate pages of a book or in different points of the house in a partial way.

Other security measures with credit cards

Of course there are other measures that will help to protect our card against possible frauds, we are going to review three of the most important ones.

Keeping track of your cards

We are talking not only about not losing sight of the cards when making face-to-face payments, this is basic since card duplication is still the order of the day, but also in other areas such as not exposing the card for long periods of time to third parties during payments.

Also, of course, more basic issues such as not forgetting the card in the ATM, checking that the ATM menus have been closed correctly, and always having the cards located and clear the place they occupy in our wallets.

Do not expose card information

Especially on the Internet, the exposure of credit cards is very high. For this reason, it is increasingly recommended to use virtual cards or prepaid cards for online transactions and purchases.

The Internet is becoming more and more secure for economic transactions, but we cannot ignore the fact that it is also a breeding ground for frauds and criminals who advance at the same speed as the network protects itself. This forces us as users to maintain a high level of alertness. It is therefore much better to take precautions based on cards with limited exposure, such as prepaid or virtual cards.

If we must still use credit cards on the Internet, we must ensure that we do so only in secure sales environments and never provide our data in response to suspicious e-mails, remember that your financial institution will never ask you for numbers or personal data through e-mails.

Control the movements of the cards

This is another very important element, especially because it can allow us to quickly detect a fraud committed with our card. It is simply a matter of periodically reviewing the movements made with the card and checking that they are all correct and made by us or with our consent. In addition to detecting fraud, this simple action can avoid many problems due to errors and mistakes in collections and payments.

Add comment