Debit Card Safety - How to keep your PIN number safely

Credit cards are pretty and desirable to use, but there is one catch: the interest rates are ridiculously high on many of them. As a result, consumers end up paying more than what he/she bargained for. Like credit cards, debits cards can be decorated with fancy designs, but the good thing about them is there are no interest rates; therefore individuals prefer to use them. But recently there have been reports that debit cards are being used for fraudulent activities. How do we protect our debit cards from this type of activity?

Unfortunately, due to the rise in Internet crimes, we, the consumers must take extra precaution with our credit or debit cards and PIN numbers. Here are a few great suggestions to keeping the PIN number on the safe level:

By all means, do not share the PIN number with individuals: Sharing a PIN number is not such a smart idea, whether it is a family member or a friend. (In most cases, they cannot be trusted!) An individual's life events can change overnight, and sometimes these people may give out the PIN number without permission. Rule of thumb: do not put the PIN number at risk!

Do not give out PIN number in an e-mail or over the telephone: Phishing scams are notorious for manipulating unsuspecting Internet users. In this type of malicious Internet activity, unsolicited e-mails request information such as bank account, passwords, and PIN numbers. If individuals are faced with this dilemma, do not hesitate to delete them. Also, never give this type of information, such as PIN on the telephone.

Protect the PIN number as if it was a child: Be careful, especially at an ATM machine and/or store swipe machine. Not many people are aware that at some ATM machines, there are "card skimmers." With card skimming, scanners are used to get information from the debit card, such as PIN number. This is usually conducted from the camera. When paying a visit to these machines, please protect the PIN number while inputting in the machine; therefore this will reduce their chance to get this information.

Choose a PIN code that is not too simple: Numbers such as date of birth and telephone numbers are very simple picks. Think of passwords that are not that obvious to establish the PIN number.

Whatever consumers decide to do, it is not such a smart idea to write down the PIN number on the card: If these PIN numbers are to be written down, put it in a very secluded location.

This is the most important suggestion: call the bank immediately if the card is lost or stolen. Individuals should notify the bank to inform them that anything may become a threat for the PIN number, such a very obvious PIN, to make it an easy target.

There are a couple more tips that I should suggest: if the ATM machine swallows the debit card, call the bank immediately because this could be a possible card skimming fraud. This last tip should be a common sense thing: under any circumstances, never write down the PIN number on the outside of the envelope or on a postcard. These tips should be very helpful in terms keeping the PIN number in a safety state. If individuals follow these few suggestions, he/she is more likely to be able to safeguard their PIN number.