Just when you think you’ve done all the right things to protect your credit or debit card from fraud it happens. Another report about a major business getting hacked and private payment information possibly yours – being stolen. Here are some important steps you can take. Check your statements often. Look for any charges – big or small that you don’t recognize. Call your financial institution or credit card company immediately if you notice anything suspicious. With the ability to access your statements online at any time of the day or night you should be monitoring your accounts frequently. The sooner you spot a problem the quicker it can be dealt with If you have shopped or made payments to a company that has been hacked call your credit card company financial institution or the company itself and tell them. If you are concerned about the safety of your account request a new credit or debit card from the issuer or ask that your PIN be changed. Once that change has been made be sure to update any automatic payments you have set up with your new information Set up alerts. Many financial institutions and credit card companies allow you to set up email or text message alerts that notify you if purchases exceed a certain amount are made on the Internet or internationally or if your balance reaches a certain level. These alerts can be early warnings that something isn’t right. It’s always important to check your statements for irregularities but it's especially important to be alert after major hacking incidents. And don’t let your guard down Thieves could either try to use your information immediately or wait for months before they start using your card information for purchases or cash withdrawals. In either case, the sooner you spot the unauthorized activity, the better.