Most of us have debit cards and have used them at some point in time while transacting online or while withdrawing cash from ATMs. In the recent times, we have across news of stealing of debit card or card skimming etc. Before I discuss anything about the safety of debit cards, I would request you to do a small check on your card. If your card comes with a chip then, your card is safe to a large extent. If the chip is not present then, replace your card immediately.
This chip is called EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip. These type of debit cards are a much more secure alternative to the traditional magnetic strip. The EMV chip creates dynamic data everytime you make a transaction. This makes it very difficult to duplicate or clone your card. Whereas, in a magnetic strip card, the details are stored in an unencrypted format, making it easier for hackers to steal the information.
Safety Tips for your debit card
- Change PIN regularly: Change the PIN of your debit card every 2 to 3 months. Always memorize your PIN and don’t write them down anywhere. Some people write it on the back of their cards and this can be very dangerous. One can change their card’s PIN by visiting ATM or through Internet Banking.
- Don’t let your card go out of sight: Whether you are one shopping online or paying restaurant bills, don’t let your card go out of your sight. A little bit of carelessness may get your card cloned.
- Enable 2-factor verification: While making online payments, get your transaction validated with the help of 3D passwords or OTP or both. This adds an extra layer of security to your card.
- Activate Email and SMS alerts: Always subscribe to Email and SMS alerts for your debit card transactions. If you get an SMS for any unauthorized transactions then immediately report it to the bank and block your card.
- Check your account statements periodically: Due to network issues, you may not receive timely SMS alerts. By checking your statements regularly, you can easily find out unauthorized transactions.
Safety of Debit Cards – Cyber Security tips
- Don’t use public WiFi while making online transactions.
- Keep your computer’s software updated and don’t install any unnecessary software.
- Always use virtual keyboards while entering your card’s details.
- While using Internet banking, always type the complete address of the website, starting with ‘https://’.
The above tips related to the safety of debit cards are also applicable to credit cards too. Recently, RBI has directed all banks to replace magstripe cards with EMV cards before 31st December 2018.