Thought your debit card is safer to use because it has a PIN number? Think again.

We all have at least one credit card and a debit card that we use when it comes to banking and paying for purchases.

But which one would be the safer option to use?

First of all let’s look at the difference between a credit card and a debit card.

A credit card gives you the ability to purchase things now and only pay for them later. In other words, you buy things today and let’s say only pay for it at the end of the month. You also have the options of paying the full amount or the minimum payment that is required.

When it comes to using a debit card it works a little different.

A debit card is linked to your bank account, so any money you spend is automatically taken from your account.

Debit card fraud happens just as easily as credit card fraud.

Think about it – just like on a credit card, a debit card also contains a card number, an expiry date and a ccv number (this is the 3 digit number on the back).

All that the other person has to do is take a photo or even just write down those 3 sets of details. It’s that easy!

If this happens and someone else uses your debit card, they can drain/empty your whole bank account.

The big problem is that after you have reported it, it can take up to two weeks for the bank to investigate the matter and to reimburse your account.

So what can you do to make sure your debit card is safe?

Take a look at the following tips:

1. Write down your ccv number & keep it safe.

Then you simply blank it out on the card using a permanent marker (don’t worry this will not damage your card in any way, but it will give you peace of mind).

2. Keep your PIN a secret.

This is rule number one when it comes to debit card safety. Do not give it out to any person or company. Do not let anyone else besides you enter your PIN.

3. Be smart online.

The web is a big place, so be extra careful when you are shopping online.

4. Instead of keying in your PIN – sign.

You should always if possible opt for signature over PIN transactions.

5. Get banking alerts.

By signing up for banking alerts, you can keep up to date with what is happening. The bank will contact you via email or text message when certain activity’s occurs on your account.

6. Protect your card.

Be sure that you don’t damage or demagnetize the magnetic strip on the back of your card. If it is damaged in any way, swiping the card won’t work.

Just like when you use a credit card at the ATM, the same safety tips counts when using your debit card:

  • Block the keypad when entering your PIN.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try not to make use of an ATM or debit terminal late at night.
  • If you are making a withdrawal, put away your money before you leave the area.
  • Always keep an eye on your statements.
  • Trust your gut feeling.
  • Do NOT accept assistance.

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