Just when you were feeling confident about building strong passwords to protect your online life, here comes the next security challenge: safeguarding your four-digit personal identification number (PIN).
PINs can be tricky to use safely. Their short, numerical nature makes the temptation to choose an easily guessed number such as a birthday almost irresistible, and PINs see heavy action in public in front of prying eyes at every checkout counter.
How can you keep your PIN and credit or banking cards safe and secure?
- Don’t choose a PIN based on obvious, publicly searchable information such as your telephone number, birthday, address or social security number.
- Never write your PIN number on the card itself or on anything else in your wallet.
- Never record your PIN number in your cell phone.
- Shield the keypad with your body or your other hand when entering your PIN at an ATM or store checkout terminal.
- Don’t let your card out of sight once you’ve handed it to a cashier.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you’re using an ATM, especially if anyone seems to be standing too close for comfort. If you feel uneasy, cancel your transaction and go to another location.
- Verify that the ATM you’re using has completed your transaction and closed your account before leaving; and make sure to take your card and receipt with you.
- Never allow a bank or merchant employee to enter your PIN number, even if they are helping troubleshoot a problem.
- Don’t give your PIN number to anyone, even PenFed or store representatives who are assisting you with an issue.
- Beware of emails that ask for or require you to list your PIN, even if they appear to come from PenFed or the merchant associated with your card. If you’re suspicious, contact the institution independently, without clicking on or replying to that email.
Safeguard your financial security
PenFed takes great pride in its fraud prevention measures, and strives to protect its members against fraud-related crimes. Visit our Preventing Fraud website for more insightful tips on how to protect yourself from fraud.