The Four Places You Should Never Swipe Your Credit or Debit Card
With all of the insane security breaches lately, I’ve definitely been more aware of my banking and spending habits, tracking spending through online banking and keeping a tighter grip on my bank card, but I there are a couple places I didn’t consider being dangerous. I was wrong.
The experts at Bankrate floored me with their list of the top four riskiest places to use a credit or debit card. I don’t know about you, but I don’t carry cash- especially since I have to walk downtown in the early morning hours to get to work. Not carrying cash makes me feel safer. Or it did. I can’t tell you the last time I paid for my gas in cash. Or the last time I paid cash when going out to eat. All of that is about to change in my life and very quickly.
According to Bankrate, these are the four places you should never, ever swipe your credit or debit card:
Skimming is the practice of capturing a bank customer’s card information by running it through a machine that reads the card’s magnetic strip. What happens is that thieves sometimes put those machines over the real card slots at ATMs. “Any transaction you do outdoors at an open ATM is going to be higher risk exposure.” says Chris McGoey, a security consultant based in Los Angeles. “If the public has access to it, then someone has the ability to add skimming devices to it, position cameras on it and position themselves in a way where they could surveil it.” McGoey says you’re better off using an ATM inside a retail outlet or other high-trafficked, well-lit place.
In a gas station, where you pay at the pump, you don’t have a lot of supervision and it’s pretty easy for thieves to put on a skimming device a little pinpoint camera and compromise debit cards. The small cameras are used to capture footage of debit card users entering their personal identification number so that they can have free access to your money.
I don’t know about you, but I do most of my shopping online because it’s just easier sometimes, but after reading this I’m seriously second thinking my decision. Experts say that the internet is the number one place you shouldn’t use your debit cards. You could have malware on your computer, so it could be at your endpoint that the data gets compromised. And let’s not forget what happens after you’ve made a purchase- your info goes into a database at the merchant. And we all know based on the events of the past couple of months that data can be breached if the company doesn’t have the right security.
“Any place where the card is out of hand” can increase the chances of fraud, says McGoey. “The guy comes to your table, takes your card and disappears for a while, so he or she has privacy,” giving the person the opportunity to copy your card information.