How Secure Are You And That ATM Transaction?By Robert Siciliano Jun 9 , 2010 | 7:00:00 pmPosted in: Personal Safety, Home Security Tips
ATM fraud is more common and likely than a crime committed directly against customers who are in the process of attempting to withdraw cash from the machines, according to NetworkWorld.
When studying “emergency PIN technologies” they state fraud was one of the few concrete conclusions from a report about the use of emergency technology at ATMs issued by the Federal Trade Commission.
The ATM is all about quick easy cash. In the world of technology, when “quick” is paired with “easy” there is a sacrifice made in regards to security. Security is often slow and difficult and most people won’t sacrifice convenience for personal security.
Certainly there is a degree of security in ATMs, but to make them fully secure requires the end user to do more, and unfortunately users often don’t have the ability to jump through all the hoops security requires.
However by understanding some of the risks and incorporating some security tips you can protect yourself.
Always be vigilant when you are at an ATM. Look around the perimeter of the kiosk and beware of anyone paying unwanted attention. If someone is “lurking” they could be waiting to pounce or are shoulder surfing to get your PIN code.
Choose a PIN that’s not easily guessed but can be quickly entered. Consecutive numbers or the same numbers is never a good idea. Often new ATMs won’t allow you to choose a “soft” PIN anyway.
Don’t ever let anyone help you at an ATM. It’s hard to envision what kind of scenario might involve another person intervening at an ATM. But consider this: Your card gets stuck, someone graciously peeks their head over your shoulder to help. They un-stick your card and help you finish the transaction. In the process they got your PIN and swapped your card with another.
In another example two women picked up drunk guys from bars who were waiting for a cab and persuaded them to pull money out of their ATMs while they watched for the PINs. Once they got back to the car one, while making out with him, would pick his pocket and hand off the card to the friend.
Beware of ATM skimming and be able to recognize what an ATM skimmer looks like. Here are some excellent pictures of a well made covert skimming device attached to the face of an ATM. You really need to look for it to recognize it. Not all are as well crafted, but some are very good. ATM skimming of course is when the information on the back of your card is “skimmed” and the criminal then burns the data onto another card and makes withdrawals.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing ATM skimming on Extra TV. Disclosures.
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