Debit cards are a convenient part of our everyday lives. Whether you’re grabbing coffee from your favorite coffee shop, withdrawing cash from your checking account, or shopping online, your debit card makes a smooth transaction possible. Because we rely so much on our debit cards, it is important to keep our cards safe and secure. Follow these 8 debit card safety tips to protect yourself from bank fraud.
1. Sign your debit card.
While most debit card transactions are no longer verified with a signature, it’s still a good idea to sign the back of your card as soon as you get it. In fact, unsigned cards are technically invalid.
2. Keep your PIN to yourself.
PIN stands for Personal Identification Number. It’s a 4-digit security code used to withdraw cash from ATMs and to verify debit card transactions at a store. As such, it’s very important to memorize your PIN instead of carrying it in your wallet or writing it on your debit card. If you want to keep a physical copy of your PIN, make sure it’s in a secure place such as a filing cabinet with a lock. Don’t share your PIN with anyone. Sometimes a PIN will be assigned to your card when you get it. If you have to choose your own PIN, avoid using a combination of numbers that can be easily guessed like your house number or birthday.
3. Keep Your Debit Card Safe and Secure.
The physical security of your debit card is just as important as protecting it from cyber security threats. Practice these good habits for keeping your debit card safe:
- Don’t let other people use your debit card.
- Don’t leave your card unattended
- Report lost or stolen debit cards immediately so you won’t be liable for unauthorized transactions.
4. Use bank-owned ATMs only.
There are nearly half-a-million Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the U.S., but they are not all created equal. To reduce your risk of skimming, which is when thieves alter an ATM’s card reader to steal your card information without your knowledge, only use bank-owned ATMs. You can find all our CS Bank ATM locations here. Gas station pumps can also be altered for skimming, so be careful when paying for gas with your debit card.
5. Limit online shopping to trusted merchants.
If you conduct a web search for a specific item, you’ll see results for buying that item. However, it’s best to stick with retailers you already know and trust. Especially if the price seems too good to be true–it could be a phishing scam designed to lure you in with a deal and then steal your payment information. Other online shopping tips to follow include:
- Look for the security lock symbol next to the URL to confirm it’s a trusted site.
- If you can, use a credit card when shopping online instead of your debit card.
- Whether you’re using a credit card or debit card, only make purchases when connected to secure WiFi. Shopping online with public WiFi makes you vulnerable to hackers.
Check out more online shopping safety tips.
6. Watch out for phishing scams.
Scammers may try to trick you into giving them your debit card information by posing as legitimate businesses, financial institutions, and government agencies. So, you have to be cautious when evaluating emails, phone calls, or text messages you weren’t expecting to receive. Remember that legitimate organizations will never ask for your full debit card number, PIN, security code, or login credentials. If you’re not sure whether the communication is legitimate, you can contact the company in question via their official customer service number.
Read more about recognizing phishing scams in 5 Ways to Prevent Bank Fraud.
7. Monitor your checking account statements.
Keep receipts from all of your debit card transactions so you can reconcile them with your monthly statement. With CSB.Online banking, you can access your current and past account statements electronically at any time.
If you see any questionable transactions or signs of fraud, contact your bank immediately. With a CS Bank checking account, you can use the CS Bank Card Manager App to sign up for debit card alerts, set up travel notices, and freeze or unfreeze your debit card.
8. Use a digital wallet.
You can link your debit card to the digital wallet app on your smartphone for a secure and convenient way to pay wherever contactless payments are accepted. When you pay with your digital wallet instead of a physical card, your payment card information is encrypted and not visible to the merchant. Start using digital wallet today!
CS Bank is here to help you with debit card security!
At CS Bank, security is our first concern. You can be assured that our digital banking services are completely private and confidential. Your unique ID, Password and Personal Identification Image are required before any information about your account can be obtained, and your complete account numbers never appear on your screen. In addition, all data is automatically encrypted. Learn more about Kasasa Cash Back Checking and Kasasa Cash Plus Checking from CS Bank! Visit any of our branch locations in Northwest Arkansas and Cassville, MO, to open a new account.
For for financial security tips, visit our bank fraud and scam protection tips page.