Day 6: Whenever you use an ATM, cover the keypad and screen.

Day 6: Never share online anything that you don’t want everyone to see. Cybersecurity in 31 days with Malan Faya, Infusion Lawyers

Welcome to Cybersecurity in 31 Days. I’m Malan Faya, your host. Today is Day 6. To view previous posts, click here.

The rate of ATM-card related scams have been high. Very high. With ATM fraudsters everywhere these days, you can’t be too careful. For your safety, treat everyone like a stranger. Caution is the keyword.

We have always been advised to be very conscious of our surroundings, especially when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). This is in other to avoid getting robbed. But cybercriminals or ATM fraudsters don’t have to be physically present at the ATM to steal from you. All they need to do is place counterfeit bank card readers, duplicate keypad or ATM skimmers over the real card-reader slot. This will copy your information. They then use a camera to capture your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and match it with your account so they can clone your card and steal from you.

This is one of the reasons why you must always ensure that you cover the keypad whenever you are entering your PIN at any ATM.

Regardless of what machine you use, always take a few extra seconds to inspect the machine. And apart from inspecting the machine, ensure that no one is too close to you whenever you are using an ATM, no one–not even the bank security. Shoulder-surfing, which involves persons standing next to you and watching you as you enter keys at the ATM.

Some more caution is required. First, be cautious with ‘Samaritans’ who are too happy to render help. They may mean well, but be cautious. You never know. Second, be cautious of strangers who ask you to return to the ATM to complete a transaction because they are unable to transact as they may want to skim you. Third, for visibility and safety, always use well-lit ATMs and in safe environments. Fourth, if your ATM card falls on the ground, ensure you pick it up yourself so you avoid fraudulent swaps. Lastly, if your card has been swallowed by the ATM, cancel the transaction before leaving the ATM or get security to watch while to complete a complaint.   

Remember, always cover the keypad when entering your PIN at an ATM and inspect the ATM to counter ATM skimmers.


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