Teach Your Teen to Keep Their Prepaid Debit Cards Safe

My daughter has been enjoying using a prepaid debit card for most of her retail and online shopping since she first got one a year ago.  She loves the independence it gives her, but it also comes with some risk.  Keeping her debit card safe is a priority for us, so we have worked hard to teach her the following principles:

1.  Don't even share your card (or number.)  Don't share it with friends. Don't share it with siblings.  Don't share.  Don't share.  (We emphasize that doing so is essentially the same as giving that person a wad of cash in the amount of money she has in her account.  It's stupid.)

2.  Don't shop on sites you are not familiar with.  For most purchases, my daughter sticks to the basic sites (like Amazon.com) or big name retailers.  Since she is a minor, she is required to use my account for many of these transactions, and I just let her put items in the cart, so that I can log in and finish the transaction while she enters payment info.  I also have her tell me where she is shopping.  This is helpful for when we check her card transactions.  If she sees something that doesn't look familiar, I can try to match it up to a site that I knew she shopped at.

3.  Don't store you card info at any shopping site.  I recently had my shopping log-on at a major shopping website hacked, and the hacker used the stored credit card info to make some purchases.  While I was able to get the funds back, it was a huge hassle, and it taught a valuable lesson.  Make sure your teen doesn't allow their debit card info to be stored after purchase, either by shopping as a "guest" or going back in after their purchase to delete their card info.

4.  Be mindful of those around you.  I also shared a bit of info with my daughter about people who may be lurking about when she takes cash out of an ATM or when using the Pinpad to make a purchase at a retailer.  This is not to make her paranoid, but to share that these things happen, and that she should report any suspicious activity to me or a store employee right away!

What about you?  Have you taught your teen about the dangers that can come from not protecting their prepaid debit card info?  I hope you find these tips to be helpful!  We love using a prepaid debit card to teach our teen about spending and saving! The SpentSmart reloadable prepaid card is perfect for enforcing the lessons above, and kids 13+ can use it to make their own purchasing decisions anywhere Mastercard is accepted. 

*As a SpendSmart ambassador, I am compensated to share news and updates. Opinions, tips, and stories of my experiences are 100% my own.