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Monday, April 02, 2012

Security tips while using ATMs

Given the fact that ATM related frauds are increasing, credit and debit card users need to exercise extra caution while using ATM centres. If you’re careless or if you’re unlucky, a smart fraudster might end up stealing your card details and empty your account.

This post shares certain tips related to usage of automated teller machines or ATMs.

  • If there’re ATMs inside your office campus, use that to the max. ATMs in IT parks, SEZs or other office complexes, which are often manned by security and visitors aren’t allowed inside without scrutiny are much safer than an unguarded ATM by the roadside. If you’re working in such a facility which has ATMS inside, use them the max, since chances of tricksters entering in and installing card readers and such devices is very less.
  • Use your bank’s ATM as much as possible, instead of other bank’s atm. In case of a fraud, it is relatively easier to deal with the bank you have account with, than dealing with other banks.
  • Split your money into two accounts. Assume you have 1.2 lakhs- Keep 1 lakh in Account 1, keep 20k in account 2. Carry only Account 2 ATM card with you. It is very unlikely that you’ll need all of 1.2 lakh at once. Even if you need, there’ll be daily withdrawal limits, so you can’t withdraw more than 20-30k per day. So carry the card with less money. At any given point of time, your risk exposure (in case of fraud) is only 20k and not your entire 1.2 lakhs
  • ATMs which are part of a bank branch, ATMs which you know have security cameras are usually safer than other ATMs
  • Subscribe for SMS alert facility given by your bank, so that you get alert whenever money is withdrawn.
  • Avoid giving your primary debit card and PIN to your family members. Create a separate account/card for them with lesser limits
  • ATMs which completely swallow the card and return it after transaction are safer than ATMs which require users to swipe in and swipe out the card. This is because it is easier to attach a magnetic reader device on the protruding part of the machine. Some ATMs (like SBI) need you to insert a debit card to open the door. While this is a good measure to prevent entry of unauthorized users, these doors result in another point of weakness, as magnetic readers can be fixed to these doors much easily than the teller machine.
  • Watch out for any unusual wires/thick cello tapes or other suspicious substances around the machine.
  • When in doubt, cover the keypad with the other hand while entering PIN
  • Also avoid situations wherein you know you’ll need cash, but forget to withdraw it till last moment (like when leaving for a trip, getting late for train and you need urgent cash but no ATMs are to be seen around). last minute tensions make you ignore all safety aspects.

11 comments :

indu chhibber said...

Excellent tips, thank you .

Latha Vijayakumar said...

Very needed information. You have given this tips in the opt time.Thanks

magiceye said...

make a lot of sense... thank you

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Indu, Latha and Deepak

Aravind GJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aravind GJ said...

Very good article!!

There is one problem associated with ATM's that swallow the card. If the card does not come out, you are in trouble!!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Aravind: If ATMs swallow the card, bank will return it subsequently..

There may be some inconvenience, but chances of fraud are less

ApartmentADDA said...

great tips. we have cross-posted on our FB page here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150765043785535&set=a.429398530534.222567.67354785534&type=1

Hope that is ok.

Sushil Cherian said...

Good set of tips. Also probably good to add that its better to do your withdrawals during daytime whenever possible and to put away the cash ASAP and definitely before leaving the ATM.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sushil:
Yes, day time are better

Apartment Adda: Thanks for sharing

brideandbaraati said...

Thanks for giving such great tips. I will recommend on my website & Let everyone know about it.