Should I Lend Out My Credit Card? 

Q: Some of my friends keep asking to borrow my credit card and I’m wondering if this iswoman with credit card a good idea. Should I be lending out my credit card?

A: While circumstances vary, lending out your credit card to friends and family is generally not a recommended practice.

Here are six reasons to say no when a friend, partner or family member asks to use your credit card:

  1. You’re making yourself vulnerable to fraud

While it is not against the law to lend out your card, you are likely breaking the rules of your credit card contract by doing so. Worse, you’re opening yourself up to unprotected fraud.

Federal law puts the cap on credit card holders’ liability for fraudulent charges at $50. In addition, many credit cards offer extra protection against fraud to keep you covered; however, none of these laws and stipulations apply if you’ve willingly lent out your card and fraud ensued. If your friend lost your card, was irresponsible with keeping its information secure or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and your card was hacked through no fault of their own, you’ll have to bear the brunt of that fraud. Even a zero-liability policy will not protect you if you’ve performed an act of “gross negligence”-which includes lending out your card.

  1. It can hurt your credit score

If your friend, partner or family member is asking to use your credit card for a purchase, there’s a good chance their own credit is shot. If your credit is still in good shape, why risk hurting your score by allowing someone who has proven to be an irresponsible spender to use your card?

  1. You’ll enable bad habits

The borrower is likely in the position of needing to borrow a card because of a reckless lifestyle and a buildup of irresponsible habits. You might think you’re being a good friend by helping them out in their time of need when, in reality, you’re only enabling them to continue on their path of self-destruction. You’ll be a truly good friend by showing some tough love and saying no.

  1. Payback time trouble

What happens when it’s time to pay that credit card bill and it’s a lot bigger than usual thanks to your friend’s spending spree? You might chase after your friend, asking for payment, only to have them respond by claiming you only need to pay the minimum payment right now, so they don’t need to pay it all back now. They may argue that you need to make that payment each month regardless of their spending, conveniently forgetting or playing dumb to the fact that interest is accruing on their purchase until it’s paid off.

This can go on for months as they continue procrastinating. They’ll reassure you that they haven’t forgotten the loan-they’re only waiting to land that dream job, get that raise they’ve been chasing or win the lottery. But until that happens, you’re left holding the bag.

It gets even stickier. Your friend may not understand that spending money on a credit card can mean paying back a lot more than the actual cost of the purchase. A prolonged balance on a credit card collects cumulative interest. Who’s responsible for paying that interest, you or your friend? While it’s your card, your interest expenses can increase a lot due to the large outstanding balance created by your friend.

However, if your friend believes they’ve only borrowed the amount they used to make their purchases, you’ll essentially be paying for the privilege of lending money.

  1. You’re putting your relationship in jeopardy

If you value your relationship with the person asking to use your credit card, you’ll turn down their request. By agreeing to let them use your card, you’re taking the risk of putting an unpaid loan between you and this person in position to ruin the relationship you share. You’ll feel awkward asking your friend to repay the loan yet again, and your friend may avoid your company when you’ve asked to be repaid one time too many. Why ruin a valuable relationship over a request you should have refused?

  1. You’re opening yourself up to repeat requests

Once you’ve gone down the road of lending out your credit card, it’ll be difficult to retrace your steps and learn how to say no. The original borrower may make a habit out of asking you to lend out your card, and other friends or family members who’ve heard about the arrangement may ask you to grant them the same privilege. Be strong and firm the first time you’re asked to lend out your credit card and you’ll better avoid facing the uncomfortable predicament of needing to turn down family and friends.

Your credit cards are personal objects marked with your own name. When friends, partners or family members ask to borrow your cards, just say no!

Your Turn: Do you think there’s ever a time to lend out a credit card? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.moneycrashers.com/why-you-should-not-lend-money-to-friends-and-family/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-why-you-should-never-lend-someone-your-credit-card-2018-03-10
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/sandberg-lending-credit-card-relative-responsible-1377.php

What The Data Breaches At Uber And PayPal Tell Us

Q: I’ve been hearing about security or data breaches at some large companies I do Uber and PayPal logosbusiness with. I’m worried that something like this might result in harm to my credit. What exactly is a data breach and what can I do to protect myself?

A: As our digital world expands, so does cyber crime. Two companies that recently experienced major data breaches are Uber and PayPal. Chances are, you’ve done business with one or both of these companies. To protect yourself against these and future breaches, arm yourself with knowledge and good habits.

Just what is a data breach?

When a criminal gains access to data sources and sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords and license numbers, this constitutes a data breach. Such access can be physical, like when someone has access to your phone or computer. The information in your device can be copied (or ported) to another device. More often, and more nefarious, is virtual thievery accomplished by a number of means, such as bypassing the security measures put in place by you or a company that stores your info in some way. Cyber criminals at Uber and PayPal used this method to steal data.

What happened?

As more people are connected to the Internet and use online services, data breaches are increasingly more common. Uber’s breach exposed the personal information of 57 million customers and Uber workers in 2016. It included names, phone numbers, email addresses, and license numbers. While sensitive information like birth dates and credit card numbers were not exposed, many of these can be attained and paired to the exposed information. PayPal also had a large data breach that potentially impacted 1.6 million customers.

This stolen information can be then used in many ways, including setting up accounts to establish a new identity. It can also be used to use to steal a person’s identity.

How can you protect yourself?

No one who uses the Internet to transact business is completely secure from threats of breaches like these. However, experts in cyber security have some suggestions to lessen your vulnerability.

  • Do not log into accounts using Facebook. When you log in this way, you are allowing Facebook to access more information about you and you don’t have control over how this data is used.
  • Don’t give out too much information. The University of Western Australia’s Centre for Software Practices suggests not giving your age and birth date when filling out profiles. You can make up a birth date and even choose your opposite gender. When using social networks, limit the information you make available. Identity thieves can make quick use of your birth date and hometown. Don’t post these in your profile.
  • Use more than one email account. For social media, using more than one email account can help to keep your data from being accumulated in one place. If you have a large amount of data in one place, losing it all at one time can potentially do greater damage.
  • Be password smart. A surprising number of people use the same password for many sites. This is a problem because if one of your sites is compromised, hackers can try that password on other sites. While it may not be convenient, it is smart to use a different password for each site you use. Every password should be strong with a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

    Another option is to use a password manager to generate passwords and store them in an encrypted database locally or remotely. An uncrackable password goes a long way to protect your data.

  • Limit your use of credit cards online. Ironically, given the subject of this article, using PayPal is safer than using credit cards when online. PayPal limits the information you are providing. In fact, no customers were harmed in the PayPal data breach.
  • Change identifying information. Pick a new birth year or change your gender on social media profiles. This helps to keep information about you from being linked with information from other sites.
  • Practice good data management. Ceck all of your account statements regularly. Look for suspicious items and set alerts to notify you when a large purchase is made.
  • Check to see if the apps you use are storing information. Some apps actually collect and sell information. Install updates for your apps because the updates typically include more advanced security, or close existing gaps that were recently discovered and exploited.

Your Turn: Unfortunately, almost everyone has a nightmare story about a personal data breach situation. What is yours? How did you handle it?

SOURCES:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/21/uber-data-hack-cyber-attack  

http://www.zdnet.com/article/paypals-tio-networks-reveals-data-breach-impacted-1-6-million-users/
http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/how-to-protect-yourself-from-an-uber-hack/9181672

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Chances are, you or someone you know has had their identity stolen at one point or Image of Man cloning credit informationanother.  It can be expensive, stressful and extremely complicated to recover from.  Here are seven ways to help protect yourself and your most important data from identity thieves.

Secure Your Hardcopies

Most of us think of identity theft as a digital crime, but many thieves are just as eager to get their hands on your paper documents.  While online accounts are password-protected, important paper documents are often left in a drawer or simply tossed in the trash, where dumpster-diving thieves can find them.

What’s the solution?  Buy a safe and a shredder.  What’s not shredded goes in the safe. Of course, the same level of care should go into protecting your physical credit cards.  Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. Make it a habit to check to see you have all your cards and IDs when you get home at the end of the day.  This will help you be aware of missing items earlier so you can cancel lost or stolen cards before too much damage is done.

Examine Your Financial Statements

Reviewing your financial statements is a good practice.  Not only will this help you track financial habits, it will also alert you to any fraudulent charges.  Credit unions and banks do a lot to protect consumers from fraud and identity theft, but only you know what you purchased and what you didn’t, so look closely at those statements!

Choose Good Passwords

Many people have one simple password they use for all devices and platforms.  This is convenient, but dangerous. Yes, there is reason to worry that having multiple hard-to-remember passwords may make it more difficult for you to access your own accounts, but potential identity thieves will have a more difficult time too.

If you’re worried about remembering your own passwords, check out these easy and safe ways to store your passwords from Gizmodo.

Protect Your Computer

Malware is just one way identity thieves steal your data.  Invest in a good and reputable antispyware program to make sure your hardware is safe from invaders.

Another way to protect your computer is to encrypt your hard drive.  Apple computers and PCs alike will offer the option to encrypt all data in your hard drive.  Go to your security settings and choose to activate the encryption option.

Be Aware of Suspicious Emails and Websites

If an email looks suspicious, it probably is. Make your email inbox a tightly curated collection.  If you have too many promotional emails, start clicking the unsubscribe button.  This will help you spot suspicious, unsolicited mails.

The same goes for websites.  Your browser or antivirus software may try and warn you about suspicious websites before you enter them.  Don’t disregard those warnings.

Use Two-Factor Identification

The most convenient option is not always the most secure, but given the choice between convenience and security, your best bet is the more secure one.  Two-factor identification for email accounts and other important online accounts will add an extra step to the security process for log-ins, most often making use of your phone number as well.

Secure Your Wi-Fi and Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is often insecure and can be a great way for thieves to get to your data.  Steer clear if you can.  If you have no choice, be sure to avoid all online banking or password logins while using public Wi-Fi.  Additionally, be sure to secure your own home Wi-Fi with a unique and hard-to-guess password.

SOURCES:
http://www.identitytheftkiller.com/10-ways-to-avoid-id-theft.php 

https://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Identity-Theft