Every time you use your Credit Card online, you are asked for a CVV number. Here is a little information about the CVV number that we use often – but don’t really know much about. Did you know that apart from your Card Number, the CVV is actually one of the most important numbers on your Credit or Debit Card?

Well, now you know.

The main purpose of a CVV is fraud prevention. It was formulated so Banks can ask for an easy but authentic set of numbers apart from the Card Number, for authentication. Hackers are able to get Card Numbers of people through nefarious means, but they are not able to get the CVV numbers that are there on cards. So when this CVV number is also included in the prerequisites for authenticating a transaction, it eliminates that much of risk.

Do you know what Credit Card CVV stands for? CVV stands for Card Verification Value. Usually this is a three digit number like the ones Visa and MasterCard use, but American Express uses four digits. It is found at the back of the Card near the space where you sign.

The CVV number is unique and is not derived from either your Card Number or your PIN or the expiration date on your Card.

You need to enter the CVV correctly while transacting or the transaction will not go through. This is because the process depends on two levels of authentication – the correct card number and the correct CVV number. The logic behind this is that the person using the Card actually has the card in his or her possession – and is therefore the rightful owner.

But you might wonder, don’t online merchants, especially the ones you order from regularly, have all the information about your card stored? Well, the answer is no – even if you have saved your Card information at all your regular online stores, they still don’t have access to your CVV. While merchants are authorised to save your Card Number, they are prohibited from storing the Credit Card CVV in their databases, which is why you need to enter it every single time you use it.

So it is important to keep your card information safe – because a CVV layer added to your Card security while making online fraud and theft difficult, does not make it impossible. Don’t ever post pictures of your Credit Card on social media or anywhere public. Ensure that the computer you use to do online purchases is safe and protected with anti-malware and anti-virus software.

A Scammer might send you an email or call you asking for your Card information – and it might look like a very legitimate request. Many unsuspecting folks have actually divulged that information only to be defrauded. Always remember that your Card Company will never ask you for such personal and sensitive information. If you receive such a request, ignore it and please inform the Bank at once. Do not respond to or click on links in emails from unfamiliar sources. Know a few card usage tips to help you use your cards safely.

Enjoy the extra layer of security that the CVV brings to your Cards as you shop online. Just be careful safeguarding all the sensitive information and you should be fine.

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