Debit cards are becoming more and more popular in the United States. And why not? They allow you to make fast purchases, while also making sure that your money is safe. But the best part about using a debit card is the fact that you avoid accumulating credit card debt.
Compared to credit cards, debit cards are a lot safer to use. But this doesn’t mean that a thief has no chance of getting to your account. Unfortunately, there are many ways a bad guy can obtain your information and use it to gain access to your account. Once this happens, you can lose all your money really fast.
From my point of view, this is the only real disadvantage of debit cards. If a thief gains access to your account and if you don’t report it in time, you can lose everything that you have in that account. Finding the bad guy is not impossible, but, in such a situation, the chances of you getting all your money back are extremely slim.
Fortunately, many banks are now working to improve their debit card protections for their customers. But this doesn’t mean that you should relax and forget about keeping your card safe. Here are some tips that will help you avoid debit card fraud and protect your finances.
1. Protect your PIN
Your bank probably already told you this, but you should never give your PIN number to anyone who asks. Also, it’s a bad idea to have it written down in your purse or wallet. If you want to be safe, memorize the number and make sure that other people don’t see it when you use the card.
2. Check your bank accounts as often as possible
When it comes to debit card fraud, time really is money. The sooner you notice anything wrong with your account, the faster you can stop any bad guy from stealing your money. Checking your bank account is easy nowadays. All you have to do is to sign up for online banking.
3. Use bank ATMs
Bank ATMs are safer than the ones in convenience stores, since they include video cameras. And the chances of someone attaching a skimming device to the ATM is also lower.
4. Don’t forget to file a report with the Police
A police report can come in handy if your debit card is stolen. It will give you extra support when you want your bank to reimburse the charges.
5. Don’t waste time
You need to report a problem as soon as you see it. If your debit card is missing, if you notice any unauthorized transactions, don’t waste any more time. Call the bank immediately and report the problem. Otherwise you risk losing all the money in your account.
6. Create your own security profile
Your mother’s maiden name or your pet’s name are easier to remember, but they don’t make for very good security questions. When you create your security profile you need to make sure that only you know the answers to the questions you select.
7. Use a secure network
There’s WiFi everywhere now, but just because you can go on the internet, it doesn’t mean that you should also use the wireless network in the park to check your bank account. That’s how hackers get your password and account information.
8. Be careful when making online purchases
Make sure that the website is secure before buying anything from it. Or you can use a credit card for online shopping.
Using a debit card comes with both advantages and disadvantages. It’s safer than a credit card and it can help you avoid credit card debt, but, if you’re not careful and someone steals your information, you can lose all the money you have in the account.