(StatePoint) Credit cards are a useful tool for managing personal finances and building credit, but they also expose you to a number of risks -- including identity theft and credit card fraud. Thankfully, experts say there are many simple, proactive steps you can take to help protect yourself when using a credit card. Here are seven tips for guarding your credit.
1. Monitor your credit reports. To identify any suspicious activity, periodically request and review your credit reports and your children’s from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These companies will provide you with a free credit report once per year. Consider requesting a different agency’s report every four months at no charge for more frequent monitoring. If you see any signs of identity theft, credit card fraud or other scams, contact the credit bureaus right away.