Be Careful When You Are Both Picking And Using A Pin Number

The one thing that a lot of us have in common is that we belong to banks. Not everyone but most of the people who earn money do belong to a bank of some kind. And when you belong to a bank you tend to trust them with your money no matter what the situation is. You will trust them when you are online and using their website and you will trust them when you are at one of their ATMs. And there is a lot of good reason that you trust them. Many of the banks that are out there have too much to lose by screwing their customers over. That is why they make sure that you have as good of an experience as possible when you use one of their services. But sometimes no matter how much they try there is something that is bound to go wrong.

choosing-a-PIN

The one thing that you hear about all of the time when it comes to problems with banks is that someone was able to get in the customer’s account and steal money from them. They were either able to do that by stealing their credit card number or they were able to do that by taking and using their username and password. No matter what method they choose to use it still ended up with money being gone from the victims account. And that is a horrible thing to happen to anyone. People work hard for their money so they should be able to expect to keep it without someone coming around and trying to steal it from them. But there is another failure that you do not hear about as often and that is the protection of your pin number from the bad guys.

Your pin number is the one piece that is able to identify you to the bank. While the bank account number and the number on your debit card can let the bank know that you are around, you are supposed to be the only one who has access to your pin number. It tells the bank that “yes this is me”. Anyone can get the other numbers that we mentioned earlier but your pin number is supposed to be you and your alone. But that is not how it always happens.

There are several different ways out there that will allow the bad guy to be able to get your pin number. The most popular way is by tricking people through a phishing website to give up their pin number. While the pin number is not asked for all of the time there have been a number of reported cases where this has happened to people. There is also an attack where someone hangs a camera on an ATM and a fake scanner as well. When you use the ATM not only are they able to scan your card numbers but they are also able to see you punch in the pin numbers as well. And there are some cases where there are certain older ATMS that will allow you to punch in a pin number as many times as you want until you guess right. That is very rare but it has happened before.

The best thing that you can do is to make sure that number one you pick a strong pin number in the first place. But then also make sure that you do not give the pin number to anyone else. And lastly make sure that you look around when you use the ATM. If you notice anything that is suspicious move on to the next one.

photo: dirk@vorderstrasse.de

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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