Credit card security tips and features

It’s always a good idea to keep your credit card secure. After all, credit card fraud ranked as the top type of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2023.

Fortunately, there are credit card safety tips and security features designed to help protect you from fraud.

Key takeaways 

  • Securing your credit card account information, monitoring your account and learning how to identify scams are steps you can take to protect your personal information. 
  • It’s a good idea to review your credit card’s security features and benefits to learn how your credit card issuer works to protect your information.
  • Capital One provides security features and tools like virtual cards, $0 liability for unauthorized charges, card lock and fraud alerts.

Monitor your credit for free

Join the millions using CreditWise from Capital One.

Credit card safety tips

There are steps you can take to defend against credit card fraud and identity theft. Here are a few credit card safety tips from the FTC and other federal government agencies you can use to help protect your financial information.

1. Secure your account information

The FTC recommends taking the following steps to keep your credit card account information secure:

  • Don’t share your account numbers or passwords. 
  • Don’t give your account information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Don’t lend your card to anyone.
  • Shred your old statements and receipts when you’re ready to get rid of them. The same goes for your expired cards.

2. Stay safe online

Here are some of the tips the FTC and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency recommend to protect yourself when using your credit card online or in mobile apps

  • Use multifactor authentication if it’s available. 
  • Create unique passwords for each online account.
  • Avoid unsecured websites by using trusted URLs and retailers. 
  • Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi and consider using a virtual private network or personal hotspot.

3. Be aware of scams

Phishing and credit card skimmers are two common ways scammers might attempt to access your personal information. 

Phishing occurs when scammers use emails, text messages or phone calls to try and steal your personal and financial information. The FTC also says to be on the lookout for phishing scams that ask you to:

  • Click links
  • Open attachments
  • Send money
  • Share personal information

Credit card skimmers are placed on card readers at ATMs, fuel pumps and other point-of-sale devices. To help avoid being a victim of credit card skimming, carefully inspect card readers before inserting your card.

4. Monitor your credit for fraud

Monitoring your credit reports and credit scores is another way you can help protect yourself from credit card fraud. It could help you catch signs of fraud like:

  • Unauthorized changes to your credit reports, like new accounts or addresses that aren’t yours
  • Big, unexplained drops in your credit scores

One way to monitor your credit is with CreditWise from Capital One. CreditWise gives you access to your TransUnion® credit report and VantageScore® 3.0 credit score. CreditWise is free and available to everyone—even if you’re not a Capital One cardholder. And using it won’t affect your credit scores.

You can also get free copies of your credit reports from Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion—the three major credit bureaus. Call 877-322-8228 or visit AnnualCreditReport.com to learn more.

Built-in credit card security with Capital One

While you can take a number of steps to protect your credit card, many credit card issuers also have security features and benefits in place. And those safeguards go beyond basics like your personal identification number (PIN) and card verification value (CVV) number

Here are a few security features and tools from Capital One.

Virtual cards

Virtual cards help keep your credit card account more secure when you’re shopping online. 

One way to use virtual cards is through Eno, your Capital One assistant. Eno can create virtual card numbers when you check out online—allowing you to shop without sharing your actual card number with online stores.

$0 liability for unauthorized charges

Under federal law, a card issuer could hold you responsible for up to $50 in fraudulent purchases before you report your card lost or stolen.

But Capital One and other issuers provide $0 liability for unauthorized charges. That means if your card is lost or stolen, you won’t be responsible for charges you didn’t authorize.

Card lock

Card lock lets you lock your credit card if you suspect it’s been lost or stolen.

Capital One’s card lock feature is simple to use and takes just a few taps on the Capital One Mobile app. And if you find your card, you can unlock it just as easily to start using it again.

Fraud alerts

If you’re a Capital One customer, you can add your mobile phone number and email address to your account to automatically get fraud alerts. So if Capital One notices suspicious activity on your account, you’ll receive an alert from the same number or email address every time. That way you’ll know the text or email isn’t coming from a fraudster.

Credit card security in a nutshell

Credit card fraud could happen to anyone. But credit card issuers have systems and tools in place to protect your account. And you can take additional steps to secure your account by following guidance from the FTC and other federal agencies.

Explore the security features and other benefits a Capital One credit card can give you. And remember that Capital One cardholders are never liable for unauthorized charges. If you’re interested, compare credit cards and apply for one that’s right for you.

Related Content

Privacy & Security

What is identity theft?