I read this story first on the Register (a great site for high tech headlines) and then again on Bruce Schneier’s blog as well, and it sent chills up my spine of just how fragile the entire ATM network was in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
I remember in the early 80’s when I first got my “Johnny Cash” card from Canada Trust (yes, that is what the machines were called back then for that Trust Company, AND they got Johnny Cash to do advertisements for it, AND the machines “dialog” had a Johnny Cash “feel” to it as well). I thought this was great, but I had no idea just how “exposed” my savings were at the time.
Some important ATM security points to remember:
- If there is someone “loitering” around the machine, maybe go elsewhere to get your money out, and certainly make sure you block their view of you inputting your pin code, and any money you take out.
- If the machine looks “hinky”:
- The lights around the machine are not turned on
- The slot where you put your card in looks funny, or does not have a “guard” over it
- If the money does not come out of the machine, call the number on the ATM machine right away (and if there is no number on the machine, maybe think about calling the cops)
- Don’t let anyone else into the ATM machine area after hours, they could be looking to take your money, or worse still MY MONEY!
- If someone does attempt to rob you GIVE THEM THE MONEY. You are more important than money!!!
Keep these tips in mind, the C8j worries about his readers. He also worries about large scale ATM fraud that will cause my bank to raise their already outrageous banking fees!