Demystifying CVV/CVC: Its Meaning, Importance, and Safe Usage Practices

PR Manager

Jul 18, 2023
5 min

In today's world, card transactions have become extremely common. So, it's crucial for us to prioritize the security of our financial information. One important thing that contributes to this security is understanding and using the Card Verification Value (CVV), also known as the Card Verification Code (CVC). Those two terms are fully synonymous.

By understanding what CVV/CVC is, why it matters, and the potential risks involved in sharing this information, we can all practice safe handling and disclosure of CVV/CVC details. This article is here to demystify CVV/CVC and shed light on how it helps protect our financial transactions. Let's dive in!

Understanding CVV/CVC

Different card networks have their own versions of CVV codes. For example, when you make an in-person transaction with Visa, they use CVV1, which is stored on the magnetic stripe of the card. But for card-not-present transactions, like online purchases, they use CVV2, which is a separate code printed on the card. Likewise, Mastercard refers to the codes used in in-person and online transactions as CVC1 and CVC2 respectively.

CVV/CVC is a security feature that takes card transactions to the next level of safety. It's a three- or four-digit code you'll find on credit and debit cards – usually on the back for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, or on the front for American Express. So, why is CVV/CVC important? Well, it's there to verify card-not-present transactions, like online purchases or phone orders, where you don't physically swipe or insert your card.

The CVV/CVC is actually a security measure that helps protect against fraudulent activities. So, when you make online purchases, the CVV/CVC acts as an extra layer of authentication, making sure that the person making the transaction has the card physically in their possession. This verification is important because it helps prevent unauthorized people from misusing your card details.

Safe Usage Practices for CVV

It's really important to acknowledge the risks that come with sharing CVV/CVC information. If fraudsters get hold of your CVV/CVC details, they can use them for all sorts of shady stuff like unauthorized transactions and identity theft. By understanding the importance of keeping your CVV/CVC confidential, you can take proactive steps to protect your personal and financial data.

Of course, it’s not the only layer of protection. Banks also have other tools, like 3-D Secure protocol, read more about it here. However, leeping your CVV/CVC information safe is still crucial. Remember, never share your CVV details with anyone, no matter what. It's important to note that genuine financial institutions or merchants would never ask for your CVV/CVC information, especially through unsolicited emails, phone calls, or texts. Sharing your CVV/CVC details through unsecured channels like emails or texts puts your information at risk of being intercepted by malicious individuals. Stay vigilant and protect your personal information at all times.

To ensure the safe handling and usage of CVV/CVC information, it is essential to adopt the following practices:

  • Never Share CVV/CVC: It cannot be stressed enough that individuals should never share their CVV details with anyone. Legitimate organizations do not require CVV information for routine inquiries or transactions. Be cautious and guard this information carefully.
  • Secure Online Transactions: When making online purchases, prioritize secure websites and payment gateways that require CVV/CVC for authentication. Look for indicators such as the padlock symbol in the browser address bar or "https" in the URL, which signify a secure connection.
  • Beware of Phishing Attempts: Be aware of common phishing scams aimed at obtaining CVV/CVC information. Phishing emails or messages often mimic legitimate organizations, attempting to trick recipients into revealing sensitive data. Exercise caution and verify the authenticity of any requests for CVV/CVC information before responding.
  • Store CVV/CVC Securely: Avoid storing CVV/CVC details digitally or in easily accessible formats. Memorize the CVV/CVC code or write it down in a secure, non-digital location. Storing CVV/CVC information electronically increases the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Regularly Monitor Card Statements: Maintain a habit of reviewing card statements frequently. By monitoring transactions, individuals can identify any unauthorized charges promptly. If any suspicious activity is detected, contact the card issuer immediately to report the issue.

You can find more information on data protection online here.

Where NOT to Share CVV/CVC

There are certain situations and platforms where it's just not wise or necessary to share your CVV/CVC information. It's better to be cautious and keep your data secure.:

Emails and Text Messages: You should never share your CVV/CVC details through unsecured communication channels like emails or text messages. These channels can easily be intercepted by malicious individuals. So, it's better to be safe and avoid such risky practices.

Social Media and Public Forums: That’s simple – never post your bank details on social media. Nothing good ever comes from it.

Unsolicited Requests: Legitimate organizations would never ask for CVV/CVC details in an unsolicited manner. Verify the legitimacy of any such request before sharing any information.

What else can I do?

One strategy is to have several cards — for example, one specifically for online shopping. With Blackcatcard, you can order as many additional cards as you want! Issuing a card costs only 7 Euros each, with a monthly maintenance fee of 2 Euros regardless of the number of additional cards! A limit can be set for each card, if we do not want all our funds to be spent on one website for one reason or another. You can find more information on additional cards here.

What to do if I compromised my CVV/CVC?

Immediately block your card in the online banking app and contact your bank’s support team for further instructions.


Is CVV and CVC the same thing?

These are synonymous terms used to describe the same thing by different payment schemes.

Where do I find my CVV/CVC?

It’s usually written on the back of the card. If you are a holder of Blackcatcard, you can also find this information in your mobile banking app.

What to do if I compromised my CVV/CVC?

Immediately block your card in the online banking app and contact your bank’s support team for further instructions.

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