The Personal Identification Number or PIN was originally created by the ATM inventor John Shepard-Barron, who wanted a 6 digit numeric code to allow secure cash withdrawals when using a cash machine. His wife suggested a 4 digit code, which the UK is used to, however as bank card security is increasing, the digit requirement is changing and we understand that some card schemes require a 12 digit PIN…ouch!!
All debit and credit cards require a PIN number, allowing you to withdraw cash from an ATM, paying for goods in-store or verifying your identity in-branch…so it’s an important number to remember and to keep safe.
As a question, how many of you cover your PIN while using a cash machine or a POS system? We’re not looking for a show of hands, but one of the easiest methods to ensure you keep your PIN safe is to shield it!! Not rocket science granted, but you’ll be amazed at how many of us don’t protect our PIN.
Next time you use your card, here’s 4 IT’s of PIN protection…
SHIELD IT…whenever you use an ATM or in-store POS system…use your free hand to cover the keypad, it will hinder shoulder surfing and camera devices – it’s a simple but good habit to get into!
MEMORISE IT…don’t write it down on/with the relevant card and don’t put it into your mobile….believe it not, that’s going to be the first place thieves will look. If you do need to write it down (and we strongly suggest you don’t) write it in your favourite book or somewhere that’s totally unrelated to your bank card.
VARY IT…a large percentage of the population have more than one card, and how many of us have the same PIN number? Next time you’re at the ATM, change your PIN numbers and make them all different…there’s nothing that screams ‘JACKPOT ‘to a thief than a wallet/purse of debit and credit cards, all with the same PIN. Don’t forget to make your PIN number unique…your birthday isn’t a good option!
LOOK AFTER IT….NEVER give your PIN details to anyone over the phone or by email. Professional bodies WILL NOT ask for this information – if you are asked for PIN details, put the phone down, or delete the email. It’s your PIN number – look after it!