Credit Card Numbers: What Do They Mean?

A credit card is something very important that should be well taken care. If anyone gets hold of your credit card number they can fraudulently pay for items without your knowledge and leave you with debt you know nothing about. But why does a credit card have so many numbers. Is it to make it more difficult for others to know your number?

All of the numbers on your credit card means something. The first digit is determined by the credit card system whose card you are using, whether it is Visa, MasterCard, American-Express or Diners Club International. If your card is a Visa, this is what the rest of your numbers represent. The digits from second to six are the number of the bank issuing the credit card, while the numbers from seven to twelve or fifteen would be your account number. The last digit is a check number.

Whenever you use your card to pay for an item these digits will help the system to charge the correct account. All these details enable the system to accurately track all your transactions, including the date, place and exact time. These will then be reflected on the statements that you receive from your card issuer, which you have to carefully study to make sure there aren’t any charges you’re unaware of. If you notice anything that doesn’t seem right you should immediately contact your card issuer.

It is for this reason you should never divulge your credit card number to anyone unless you have good reason to trust them. If it is a website you are dealing with make sure that their payment system is secure. Of course nothing is totally secure and you can never rule out fraudulent activity no matter what you do.

It wasn’t long ago that we heard of a hacker who gained access to a “secure” area containing millions of credit card numbers. This theft compromised the card numbers of millions of unsuspecting credit card users. This shows you that you are never totally safe as even big corporations and IT companies are targeted by hackers. However by taking the right steps you will considerably minimize your risk to fall prey to unscrupulous individuals.

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