Know who you’re handling information out to – No matter where you are and what you’re doing; think about who you’re handling your credit card or debit card over to. This is especially the case when you’re trying to buy goods online and you can’t see the store or the store owner that you are dealing with. Try to only work with those that are reputable in nature and those that have security devices in place – Hacker Tested, VeriSign, etc.

If you are uncomfortable with a transaction, don’t do it. Don’t damage your credit. – Whenever you feel even a little uncomfortable with a financial transaction or something just doesn’t seem right, don’t follow through with it. Or, if you need to make the transaction, go and get cash. Don’t use your credit cards.

Protect your computer – Computer hackers might get into your computer, so you need to make sure that you have up to date virus software as well as firewalls in place. It might sound obsessive, but a Trojan virus can access your system quite easily, leaving the hacker with a clear view of your financial records, passwords, etc. If you’re unsure of how to protect your computer, take it to a computer repair shop or talk to your computer dealer.

Here are some ways to minimize the damage of financial troubles:

Take on another job – If you are living beyond your means, you need to begin to extend those means. If this means taking on an additional job in order to pay off debts, then this is what you should do. The extra time that you’re spending at this job will remind you of the money that you’ve spent and may cause you to rethink excessive spending in the future.

Cut up your credit cards – It sounds like a drastic measure, but if you’re starting to use credit cards more than cash, destroy your credit cards and break the habit. While it might not seem like a big deal to have a $1000 balance on your credit cards, paying this off only with the minimum payment will take you about three to five years (depending on the interest rate) and will end up costing you well over the original amount.

Credit damage doesn’t have to be a part of your life when you realize what you might be doing to contribute to it.