When is it safe to distribute the security code on the back of my credit card?

Credit card numbers and security codes are highly coveted by Internet criminals and must be protected.

The security code on the back of your credit card, which older credit cards may not have, is a three- or four-digit number used to verify that you actually own the card. It is also called CVV or CV2. There are many questions about when it is safe to provide this security code and when you should not disclose this information. It is usually safe to provide this code when shopping online, especially for well-known retailers, but you should never release it when using the card in person.

Most credit cards have a CVV or CV2 number on the back.

The security code is usually designed for extra protection when you buy items on the Internet. It is used to verify that you are indeed entitled to use the card and that you have all the information contained therein. As an online purchase does not show your card to the seller, the number helps prevent the seller from fraudulently making a sale to someone using the main number and expiration date, which can be stolen from the front of the card.

Some people are afraid to provide the security code when shopping online.

This is why you should never release the security code when you are present for a sales transaction. It does not appear when the card is scanned or when a copy of the card is printed on a sales receipt. People who steal this information, including some people who work in retail outlets, don’t have all the information they need to make most purchases over the Internet. Of course, not all online businesses ask for your CVV, and it may be a good idea to only use vendors that require this information when you shop on the Internet to support vendors who are trying to prevent fraudulent use of your card.

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Even with firewalls, security systems and everything else in place, you can’t be 100% sure that providing your Internet security code guarantees your security. In all cases where you disclose all the relevant information needed to make purchases over the Internet, there is a chance that the people who take this information could steal it. That’s why you should view security code as just one method of trying to prevent Internet fraud. Careful review of your credit card charges and not providing this information to unknown vendors is also important.

You can be more confident about larger, more reliable vendors when you are asked to provide your security code. You should probably avoid providing this information to providers you’ve never heard of before and who don’t seem to have a lot of traffic on their site. You may also be asked to provide your security code number when purchasing things over the phone, and you probably shouldn’t provide this information if you’re using a cell phone in a public place.

It’s very clear, though, that if you’re buying something in person, the retailer won’t ask for your CVV. He will usually verify your right to use the card by comparing the signatures on the back of the card and the receipt.

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