Credit or debit? What card to use when shopping to stay protecte - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Credit or debit? What card to use when shopping to stay protected

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Credit or debit?  You probably hear that question every time you check out at a store.

But, after a massive data breach at Target, many are wondering if one form of payment is better than the other.   Turns out, credit is safer.

Nearly 40 million target shoppers may have had their information compromised this holiday season.

Several years ago, TJ Maxx was hit.

And analysts say, data breaches will likely continue.   So if you want to protect yourself, use your credit card at the check-out, not your debit card.

For one, you'll be on the hook for less money.

If a hacker gets your credit card number, the law says you're only liable for $50.

If a hacker gets your debit card number, you could be responsible for up to $500 or more, depending on how quickly you report it.

And with credit card fraud, it gets resolved a lot faster.

Usually the fraudulent charge can be wiped off your account immediately.

But if it's a debit card, the bank has to investigate, and you might not get the money back for a couple weeks.

That could be a big problem if you're living paycheck and paycheck.

But whatever you choose, debit or credit, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

Check your activity online every few days.  Set up account alerts.

Many financial companies let customers block transactions over a certain dollar amount.

And be careful about using a debit card online or at gas stations and ATM's.

Those are places thieves tend to target.

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