How to Keep Your Debit Card Information SafeDated: May 18, 2023
Keeping your debit card information safe is crucial to protect your financial security. Here are some essential tips to help you safeguard your debit card information.
Protect Your Information
Memorize your PIN: Avoid writing down your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and instead commit it to memory. Never use a birthday or common sequence like 1234. This prevents people from accessing your card if it’s lost or stolen.
Protect your online banking credentials: Use strong, unique passwords for your online banking accounts and never share them with anyone. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) if your bank offers it to add an extra layer of security. This will help prevent unauthorized cards from being opened.
Shop on secure websites: When making online purchases, ensure you are on a secure website before entering your debit card details. Look for “https://” at the beginning of the URL and a padlock icon in the browser address bar. Be critical of sites with excessive pop-ups, misspelled words, or lack of clear contact information. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Keep your card physically secure: Always keep your debit card in a safe and secure place. Avoid leaving it unattended or visible in public areas, and never lend it to others.
Be cautious with ATMs: When using ATMs, be aware of your surroundings and ensure that nobody is watching you enter your PIN. Shield the keypad with your hand while entering your PIN to prevent potential surveillance. Prefer using ATMs that are located in well-lit and high-traffic areas, such as inside a building.
Beware of skimming devices: Be cautious of any suspicious-looking attachments or overlays on ATMs or payment terminals (like a gas pump). Skimming devices are used by criminals to capture your card information. If something is loose, or a seal has been tampered with, don’t use that machine and report it to the appropriate authorities. Thieves are crafty. Any device with a payment portal can be a host for a skimmer.
Slow Down Before You Act
Be wary of phishing attempts: Phishing emails, texts, or calls aim to trick you into revealing your personal information. Be skeptical of unsolicited communications asking for your debit card details or login credentials. Never click on suspicious links or provide information unless you are certain of the source’s legitimacy.
Be cautious with card details over the phone: Avoid sharing your debit card details over the phone, especially if you didn’t initiate the call or text. Scammers may pose as legitimate companies to trick you into revealing sensitive information. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and contact your bank directly using a known, trusted phone number.
Shop on secure websites: When making online purchases, ensure you are on a secure website before entering your debit card details. Look for “https://” at the beginning of the URL and a padlock icon in the browser address bar. Be critical of sites with excessive pop-ups, misspelled words, or lack of clear contact information. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Review Your Information
Sign up for debit card activity alerts. Stop fraudsters before they spend your money and get notified any time your card is used for a purchase. Evergreen Credit Union offers these for debit and credit cards: Card Activity Alerts.
Regularly check your account statements: Review your bank statements and transaction history frequently to identify any unauthorized or suspicious activity. If you notice anything unusual, report it to your financial immediately.
Regularly update your contact information: Ensure your financial has your current contact information, including phone number and email address. This allows them to reach you quickly if they suspect any fraudulent activity on your account. This also prevents thieves from using outdated information to compromise your accounts.
Monitor your credit reports: Check your credit reports regularly to identify any unauthorized accounts or inquiries that could indicate fraudulent activity, such as checking accounts or credit cards opened without your permission. You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus once a year. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only legitimate site to view your reports online.
You can significantly reduce the risk of your debit card information being compromised by following these guidelines. Remember to stay vigilant, trust your instincts, and promptly report any suspicious activity to your financial.
Evergreen Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with an environmental focus in Neenah and Appleton, Wisconsin. Membership is open to everyone who lives or works in Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara, Calumet, or Winnebago counties.