Worst places for using debit cards

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Debit cards are a wonderful tool that cuts out the need of carrying cash. Debit cards allow the users a twin advantage of having access to liquid money anytime during the day as well as indulge in shopping in both online and brick and mortar stores. While there is no denying the fact that debit cards add a sense of convenience for the common man, debit cards are also susceptible for risk and fraud especially with increase in the number of hacking activity recently.

Worst places for using debit cardsLet us take a look at some of the worst places where users place themselves at high risk when using their debit cards.

Restaurants and Cafes:

One of the most common places where a lot of people tend to use their debit card is restaurant and cafes. Most restaurants and cafes do not swap the card in front of the customers. There have been cases reported in the past where waiters and cashiers have compromised the security of the card by noting the debit card number for a fraudulent use later on. Also a lot of small time restaurants and cafes still use older debit card swiping machines that are vulnerable to hackers who can access such machine using Bluetooth connection. The best to avoid falling for a debit card trap is to use credit cards or pay by cash while visiting restaurants and pubs.

Isolated ATM’s:

If you are one of those people who use your ATM’s at any and every ATM center, you are at a high risk for debit card frauds. While the advantage of having a debit card means one has access to cash all the time even while travelling to remote centers. On the downside however a lot of ATM’s located in the rural areas and also in isolated places in cities may have been compromised by hackers to note the debit card transactions of each card used in the ATM. While banks are continuing their plans to get every ATM under real time CCTV surveillance, unless the objective is fulfilled avoiding isolated ATM’s is recommended.

Petrol Pumps:

A large number of people use their debit cards at petrol pumps and filling stations making them vulnerable to debit card fraud. Petrol pumps offer the least amount of security for their card swiping machines is at a high risk for hackers and fraudsters. Hackers have been known to use Bluetooth to extract pin numbers punched in by debit card customers at petrol pumps. The extra security protection offered in a credit card is tough to misuse but debit card holders are at a genuine risk once their card pin number gets stolen.

Retail Grocery Stores:

There is no denying the fact that it is easier and more convenient to carry a card when out shopping for random stuff and groceries at a store or mart. Using a debit card for shopping at a retail store is not an ideal scenario as the card may get compromised due to various reasons. A large number of stores do not upgrade their card machines to handle old malware. Latest hacking techniques make it possible to break into the network of any store and get access to pin numbers of debit cards. Using a credit card or cash is a safer option. It is wiser to avoid using card when paying a small amount as one is putting a high risk on the debit card transaction for a small purchase of a few hundreds.

Online Shopping:

The widespread use of online shopping these days has offered customers the convenience to shop sitting in the comfort of their home or office. But before you shop online using your debit card make sure that the website or portal carries all debit card transactions over an encrypted network. Look out for SSL certified sites before indulging in any financial transaction. A lot of online sites have come up recently that do not have required protection for online transactions making it easier for hackers to steal debit card numbers, information and PIN right from the online database.

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