If you have a Canadian debit card or credit card, you have a Personal Identification Number, or PIN. A PIN allows you to verify your identify before making a purchase or withdrawing money from an Automated Banking Machine (ABM). A PIN can usually have 4–12 numbers and should be totally private—only you should know your PIN.
Here are six tips for protecting your PIN, courtesy of Interac:
- Use your hand or body to shield your PIN during every transaction conducted at an ABM or at the checkout.
- Keep your debit card in sight when conducting transactions at the checkout.
- Check your bank statements regularly and contact your financial instruction immediately if you spot any unusual activity, like purchases you didn't make or missing charges. If you're an ATB customer, you can call the number on the back of your card or 1-866-282-4932.
- Notify your financial institution immediately if your debit card is lost, stolen, or retained by an ABM.
- Memorize your PIN. If you think that someone knows your PIN, even a friend or family member, stop by your local bank or the nearest ABM to change it.
- Select a unique PIN. Never use obvious information like your phone number, birthday, or Social Insurance Number. This information is often stored in the same place as your debit card information, enabling criminals to easily guess your PIN.