Tech Tip: Do You Enter Your PIN When Using Your Debit Card?

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We live in a mostly cashless society these days. Our parents wouldn’t have ever thought to pay for a $1.50 cup of coffee with plastic; now it’s commonplace. How you swipe that plastic, though, makes a big difference in how you are protected from your neighborhood cyberthief.

If you enter your PIN when you run a debit card transaction, STOP!

Run the card as credit. Not only will you not have to enter the PIN, you’ll almost always get more antifraud protection should you have a problem with a purchase or if the card number is stolen. In addition, always designate transactions as credit when shopping online, when out of town on vacation or business and when making large purchases.

Running your transaction through the credit card network instead of the bank network offers these additional protections — plus, it’s faster.

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.

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