How to protect your PIN

Posted at 02/11/13 6:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines -  Bancnet on Monday reminded cardholders of its member banks to take care of their PIN (personal identification number), amid a report that an international syndicate has been withdrawing money from ATM accounts of bank customers using card skimming devices. 

In a statement, Bancnet Inc., the country's largest Automated Teller Machine (ATM) consortium, said no withdrawals can be made if the "syndicate" does not have the cardholder's PIN. 

To prevent unauthorized withdrawals from your ATM account, Bancnet said it is important to keep one’s PIN is kept secret and safeguarded during a transaction.

Bancnet gave some tips on how to take care of your PIN: 

1. Cover your hand when entering your PIN. – This is to shield the PIN from being captured by a hidden camera.

2. Keep your PIN secret. Do not divulge it to anyone. – In many cases, unauthorized withdrawals were made by relatives, officemates, and other persons either entrusted with or had access to the PIN.

3. Memorize your PIN. Do not write it down nor store it in your gadgets. – This is to prevent unauthorized access to the PIN.

4. Change your PIN regularly. - This is an insurance against the possibility of the PIN having been stolen.

5. Choose a unique PIN that cannot be figured out easily. Avoid obvious PINs like birthdates, house numbers, telephone numbers and the like. – This is to prevent easy PIN theft.

6. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder while you are entering your PIN. Never accept help from a stranger. – This is to prevent anyone from seeing or hearing your PIN.

Bancnet said the banks have also implemented security measures such as installation of keyboard covers or PIN shields to cover PIN encoding, and CCTV cameras to monitor fraudulent activity.

Banks also conduct regular inspection of ATMs, and immediately block ATM cards suspected to have been compromised.