Banking for the average person has changed dramatically with the advent of the ATM and the use of ATM cards. While this card has placed your checking and savings account at your fingertips, it has also opened the door to criminals and illegal activities. How can you enjoy the convenience of an ATM and still protect your privacy and your ATM Card? Here are a few tips to help you protect your money and your identity.
One of the most important things that you can do to increase the safety of your ATM card is to think of it as cash. For all intents and purposes,that is what it is. Picture your ATM card as a thousand dollar bill. When someone takes it from you and leaves the room, do you feel as comfortable now that it is cash? Try to keep your card in your eyesight at all times.
There are ATM machines everywhere, some of them are safer than others. When you need to use an ATM, it is wisest to use one in a very public place. You don’t want to make a cash withdrawal at a machine where it would be easy for someone to rob you without being seen. Bring a friend or go inside to a well lighted and very public ATM machine.
When you are entering your pin number into the ATM machine, try to shield your hand so that no one could watch you and see the number. Never give out your pin number and try to pick a password that is not related to your birthday or social security number. If something doesn’t seem right about an ATM machine, take your card, walk away and go to another machine. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Be prepared when you go to the ATM. You want to either walk or drive up to it and get your business done. This can mean making up a deposit envelope before you get to the window. If you are in your car, don’t sit there with the windows open and the doors unlocked. Be as security conscious as you can. Always leave the car running and have the doors locked and everything but the drivers window closed. Count your money discreetly if you make a withdrawal and put it into a secure place.
If you are using your ATM card online and even if you aren’t, it is important that you check your bank statement frequently. This way if you see any unusual activity you can tell the bank immediately. These days, not only are your bank accounts in danger of theft but also your identity. Once a person has stolen one or the other, it can be very difficult to make things right for you again.
Protecting yourself from all the fraud and theft that is out there is no easy task but with some diligence on your part, you can know that your ATM card is secure and that your bank accounts and identity are as well.