5 Tips for Using ATM Safely and Securely

Using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is a convenient way to withdraw cash, check account balances, and perform other banking transactions. However, ATM fraud is a real concern, with criminals using various tactics to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting users. To help you use ATMs safely and securely, here are 5 key tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose ATMs Wisely

When using an ATM, opt for machines located in well-lit, busy areas. Avoid ATMs in secluded or dimly lit areas, as they can be prime targets for criminals. ATMs at banks, inside retail stores, or other secure locations are generally safer options. Additionally, be cautious of ATMs that appear to have been tampered with, such as devices attached to the card slot or keypad.

2. Protect Your PIN

Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) is the key to accessing your bank account at an ATM. To safeguard your PIN, cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering the numbers. Avoid using easily guessable numbers like your birthdate or simple sequences. Memorize your PIN and never write it down or share it with anyone.

3. Be Alert and Aware

Stay vigilant while using the ATM. Look out for any suspicious individuals lingering nearby or watching you as you enter your PIN. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, cancel the transaction immediately and walk away. Trust your instincts and prioritize your safety over the transaction.

4. Check for Skimming Devices

Skimming devices are small gadgets that criminals attach to ATMs to steal card information. Before inserting your card, examine the card reader for any unusual attachments or irregularities. If something looks out of place or doesn't feel right, report it to the bank or ATM owner immediately. Wiggle the card reader to ensure it is securely attached.

5. Keep Transaction Records

After completing an ATM transaction, remember to take your card, cash, and receipt. Avoid leaving behind any evidence of your transaction, as it can contain sensitive information. Check your bank statements regularly to spot any unauthorized transactions and report them promptly to your financial institution.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from ATM fraud and ensure a safer banking experience.


Q: Can I use any ATM to withdraw money from my bank account?
A: While most ATMs allow for cash withdrawals, using machines within your bank's network can often result in lower fees.

Q: Is it safe to use mobile banking apps to locate ATMs?
A: Yes, using your bank's official mobile app to find ATMs can be safer than relying on third-party apps that may not be secure.

Q: What should I do if my card gets stuck in the ATM slot?
A: Do not leave the ATM unattended. Contact your bank immediately to report the issue and follow their instructions.

Q: Are ATM transactions encrypted to protect my data?
A: Most ATMs use encryption technology to secure transactions and protect your information from being intercepted by cybercriminals.

Q: Should I avoid using ATMs at night?
A: If possible, it's best to use ATMs during daylight hours or when the surrounding area is well-lit and populated for added safety.

More from this stream