Safety and Security the Driving Forces– Financial institutions have invested heavily in recent years in the technology and infrastructure aimed at making your accounts safe from criminal hacking and data theft. Enter the “smart card” with microchip technology, which adds a new layer of security to your card transactions. With chip technology, each transaction is approved using a unique encrypted authentication code, making it far more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access your personal information. That unique one-time transaction information also prevents a thief from making any additional purchases with stolen card data.
How Will My Transactions Change?– As a “smart card” user, you won’t see many changes in how you make everyday purchases. In the short term, card issuers will include both the microprocessor chip and the magnetic stripe technologies on newly issued credit and debit cards. With magnetic stripe technology, a quick swipe is used to read the data. With smart cards, the chip is “read” when the card is dipped into the terminal.
Smart Card Protection- It is important to remember that “smart cards” safety measures work only for in-person or card-present transactions at properly equipped retail point of sale terminal and ATM machines. Online retail transactions using your “smart card” do not offer the same safety and security because the technology only works if a machine can physically read the chip on your credit or debit card.
Personal Security Remains Important- As always, you should take care to exercise personal security measures in the care and use of your credit and debit cards:
- Do not share your PIN (personal identification number) with anybody, and do not write it on your card; use strong passwords.
- When making online purchases with your card, make certain it is a trusted – and secure site.
- Check your statements regularly. If you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify the credit union immediately.
- Check your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com