If you watch the news, you've probably heard stories of people having their identities stolen and their bank accounts emptied.  But credit cards are safer to use, if you keep these things in mind:

1. If your credit card is lost or stolen, you're legally have to pay only $50 of any unauthorized charges. Just make sure you immediately notify the card company when you find out it's gone.

2. Don't give your credit card number to anyone who calls you on the phone.

3. Just like when using checks, you should look for errors on your credit card statements. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have the right to contest errors within 60 days after the bill's statement date. Credit card companies usually help settle billing disputes in favor of consumers because they're afraid disgruntled customers will change cards.