Every once in awhile I take a good look at my credit card statement. It’s something I didn’t used to check until one day, about 5 years ago, I noticed I was being charged for something that I couldn’t ever remember signing up for. It turned out I’d been being billed for something nearly 2 years that was kind of an add on to something else I’d purchased. I had it canceled, but knew I was never getting my money back and didn’t even try.

This weekend, Visa decided it will no longer allow sites to automatically sign people up for things they don’t know they’re signing up for. They will require that consumers must re-enter all of their credit card information anew before allowing any third-party charges. This means that if you visit any of those sites where you see all these other offers popping up and you happen to forget to uncheck the box, which is how many people get sucked into these ventures, you won’t be seeing things like this on your bill unless you follow through on the action in popping your information in.

That is, with Visa, since Mastercard had already ended the practice years ago. All of this comes on the heels of a report by Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia stating that this practice was earning as much as $1.4 billion a year in unauthorized charges on 30 million Americans’ credit card bills. The main sites guilty of this practice were Priceline.com, Hotwire.com and 1-800-Flowers. I say “were” because 1-800-Flowers has dropped that type of service.

If you use your credit cards often enough, you should be checking them to see what you’ve been charged for anyway. Many people will find that there’s this payment protection service they’re being charged for that was actually thrown on by the credit card companies themselves to protect “you” against losing your job and not being able to make payments, but you were never asked. If you have no worries about this, you should cancel the service, which is usually between $15 and $20 a month.

Be vigilant with your credit; never let anyone else assume to create debt for you.