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January 25, 2024 4 minutes to read ∙ 800 words

Ask Techie: How Can I Protect My Business Credit Card from Fraudulent Charges?

Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month, we answer readers’ questions about how to protect your law firm credit card from fraud and how to create your own Auto Text in Microsoft Word.

Q: How Can I Protect My Business Credit Card from Fraudulent Charges?


I’m concerned about the hassle of replacing my credit card or, worse, having to deal with a big fraudulent charge. How can I keep my credit card safe?

A: Criminal gangs thrive on credit card fraud. Here are some tips for protecting your credit card.

Your firm needs a primary credit card for business purposes. You use it to pay your major expenses for which credit cards are accepted. By limiting the number of companies that have your primary card information, you reduce your exposure to theft, fraud, and even the inconvenience of replacing that card due to a failed attempt by a thief.

You might think, “Oh, it’s not so bad if someone rips off my credit card. The card company will give me the money back, and I’ll just get a new number.”

Two things are wrong with that thinking.

First, your card company might not be so fast to reverse the fraudulent charge. Read about a reporter’s long ordeal with her credit card company trying to remove nearly $10,000 in fraudulent charges. The lesson from that story is to pay careful attention to any texts or emails from your credit card company and any notice that you will receive a new card in the mail.

Second, it’s a hassle to go to the website of each of your vendors if your card number needs to be changed. Plus, if the timing is wrong, an automatic payment from your canceled credit card could be declined, leading to more hassles.

Protect Your Primary Credit Card and Checking Account

Avoid carrying your primary credit card with you. Take it with you just for in-person, major credit card purchases, and then store it safely. By choosing a primary card with a generous cash-back rate, you can receive a substantial amount of tax-free money over time.

Don’t use your primary card for occasional online spending. Instead, use a secondary credit card or debit card for in-person purchases and ordering things online.

Secondary Card

Simply taking out a second credit card and using it for small and online purchases can protect your primary card.

A debit card connected to a second checking account is another good option. It can protect your primary credit card and primary checking account. Use the second checking account only for debit card purchases. Ask if your bank will decline any purchases for more than the account balance. Get their assurance that their system can impose that restriction.

Limit your exposure by keeping a low balance in this extra checking account. You can conveniently transfer money online from your primary checking account into the second checking account as needed.

You might have lesser protection with a bank debit card than with a separate credit card, so ask about the bank’s policies.

For more extensive advice on avoiding fraud against law firms in general, sign up for this American Bar Association webinar (free for ABA members):

Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor and CEO of SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120, www.securemyfirm.com—we protect small firms from cyber threats with affordable, multiple layers of defense.

Q: Can I Create My Own Auto Text in Microsoft Word?

A: The short answer is yes. Auto Text is a feature in Microsoft Word that allows you to insert predefined text or graphics into your document with a few keystrokes. Auto Text can save you time and effort by avoiding repetitive typing and formatting. You can use the built-in Auto Text entries provided by Word, or you can create your own custom ones.

To create your own Auto Text entry, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text or graphic that you want to store as an Auto Text entry.
  2. Click the Insert tab, and then click Quick Parts in the Text group.
  3. Click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
  4. In the Create New Building Block dialog box, type a name for your Auto Text entry in the Name box. You can also choose a Gallery, Category, Description, and Options for your entry.
  5. Click OK to save your Auto Text entry.

To use your Auto Text entry, follow these steps:

  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert the Auto Text entry in your document.
  2. Type the name of your Auto Text entry, and then press F3. Alternatively, you can click the Insert tab, and then click Quick Parts in the Text group. Then, select your Auto Text entry from the list.
  3. The Auto Text entry will be inserted into your document.

You can create as many Auto Text entries as you want and use them to speed up your document creation process.

Techie: Ashley Hallene, JD, GPSolo eReport Editor-in-Chief ([email protected]).

What’s YOUR question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, and Matthew Murrell. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!

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Published in GPSolo eReport, Volume 13, Number 6, January 2024. © 2024 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association or the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.