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Technology has affected how we live in every walk of life. While safety on your computer and on your phone are crucial to staying safe online, you also need to be on your guard against scams and crime in your day-to-day life as well.

We want you to be safe and confident using things like cashpoints and paying by card as well as being aware of your surroundings when using your devices or sensitive information in public spaces. Our guide tells you what you need to know.

Cash and card machine safety

As with all financial transactions, please take care when you use your card or a cash machine.

Card safety 

  • Where possible, don’t let your card out of sight when you pay.
  • When making a contactless payment, make sure you check that the amount you are paying is correct before tapping your card on the payment device.
  • Always cover your card PIN when you enter it on the keypad.
  • Do not choose a card PIN that might be easily guessed – your date of birth, numbers in descending or ascending order, like 5432 or 1234, or four of the same numbers 1111.
  • Don’t reveal any of your banking details such as your card number, PIN or full password if asked for by email or over the phone.
  • When shopping online, make sure it’s a legitimate website before you enter card details – See Shopping Online.

Cash machine safety

  • Be aware of your physical surroundings: make sure no one is trying to distract you or look over your shoulder.
  • Check that there are no obvious signs that the cash machine has been tampered with or damaged.
  • Check that other people in the queue are at a reasonable distance behind you.
  • Shield the keypad with your hand to prevent hidden cameras or people from capturing your PIN.
  • Never reveal your PIN to anyone.
  • Use cash machines which are in clear view and well-lit. If suspicious, walk away.
  • If your card is kept hold-of by a cash machine, report it immediately.
  • Keep the Post Office Money lost or stolen card phone number in your mobile phone contacts.

Identity theft

This is when someone steals your personal information and uses it to impersonate you. They can carry out fraudulent activity like trying to access your bank accounts, opening a credit card account in your name or getting payment from a supplier.

How to reduce your risk of identity theft

  • Be careful when posting personal information online, including on social media.
    The more information you post online about yourself the easier it may be for a fraudster to steal your identity.
  • Never give your card PIN to anyone.
  • Cancel lost or stolen credit or debit cards immediately.
  • Lock all valuable documents away, keep them in a safe place.
  • Clear all information on your device before selling it.
  • Shred any confidential information, like bank statements or cheque books before you throw them away.
  • Tell all of your service providers promptly when you change address
    Set up a mail forwarding arrangement with Post Office.