Can Frequent Credit Card Use Lead to Identity Theft?

Managing Credit Card Use to Prevent Identity Theft

Credit cards are great convenience in our modern society, but they could lead to identity thief in several ways. Credit card companies try to talk consumers into use their credit cards often. This widespread usage of credit cards allows them to make more money through interest rates and transaction fees. But does frequent credit card use put a cardholder’s identity at risk?

Recurring Bills On Your Credit Card?

Do you use a credit card to pay re-occurring bills? If the answer is yes, you should reconsider this choice. The reason is that you are possibly exposing your credit card to another a merchant when it isn’t necessary. That could potentially lead to identity theft because the merchant will have your credit card on file.

Since practically all merchants have computerized records that means that your credit card information will live inside a computer database. There is nothing wrong with your credit card information being in a database if it is properly maintained. However, if that computer is hacked into then your credit card and other personal information will become compromised.

Cardholder Beware

You’ve probably already seen on many of your bills the opportunity to provide a credit card for reoccurring debits. Companies typically want your credit card number, expiration date, and your signature of authorization.

It is not recommended that you provide this information because an employee at that company would read this information and place it into the computerized database, putting you at risk of identity theft. This is not to say that these employees are not honest or ethical, but it only takes on disgruntled employee to capture this information and start making charges against your account.

Essentially, limiting the amount of times you use your credit card will in turn limit your exposure to identity theft. If you want the convenience of electronic bill paying, rather than giving your credit card information out to several separate companies, simply pay your bills using automatic bill paying services available through your bank.

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