Safety of debit cards – How safe is yours ?

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.


Source: SBI website

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.



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    • JayanthyGovindarajan (@JayanthyG) on September 24, 2018 at 7:59 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for this detailed entry. I wonder if anybody still uses Magnetic strip cards. Most cards were replaced as far as I remember. As you rightly said, some people write the numbers behind the card and I have heard of incidents where their cards were lost and their money was withdrawn with that. Good safety tips!

      • blogger on September 25, 2018 at 1:32 pm
      • Reply

      Magswipe cards are still in use. The numbers are gradually reducing.

  1. Thanks for the information – hopefully these cyber security tips will be heeded by all and hacking incidents will cease…

      • blogger on September 25, 2018 at 1:33 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks for your kind words

  2. Once I lost my wallet with all my cards in it & I even kept the pin number along with it 🙁 gladly I blocked everything without loosing a single penny. I learnt a big lesson. Now I’m extra cautious about my cards safety.

  3. A lot of banks have proactively replaced the old debit cards with chip based ones. Considering the latest debit card fraud in our city, I wonder how many layers of safety net do the banks provide to its customers.

  4. This is a never ending topic with new security protocols coming in regularly and hackers are ever ready to break them. Its always a cat and mouse fight here.

  5. Thanks for sharing the information about safety of debit card! Very useful.

  6. Thanks for sharing these wonderful and important tips. In today’s world Technology is both a boon and a bane. People need to be educated every now and then for the new arrivals. #readbypreetispaanorama

      • blogger on October 8, 2018 at 11:33 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks for your kind words

  7. Very important pointers…

    • Priyanka Naik on October 8, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    • Reply

    Useful tips and helpful reminders…
    Thank you.

      • blogger on October 8, 2018 at 11:34 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks for your kind words

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