But if your strategy for protecting yourself is to leave your signature off your cards and write "See ID" instead, not only is your game plan ineffective, but it's outdated.
The idea behind writing "See ID" on a credit card is that if your card is stolen, a merchant won't complete a transaction when the thief can't produce a valid identification card. "I've written 'Check ID' on both credit and debit cards since 2004 [and] I've had my card number stolen twice, so I don't believe it helped at all," says Woodbridge, Virginia, blogger Rosemarie Groner.
Experts suggest taking steps more effective than writing "See ID." Once you've taken those precautions, try to keep the threat in perspective.
"While we always need to be cognizant of our responsibility in terms of security, we also need to remember that millions of these transactions are accomplished safely every day," Johnson says.
Finally, most major card networks have instituted no-signature-required programs, which negate the need for you to sign for purchases that cost less than a certain amount, such as $25 or $50.