Life Hacks

This is the only place you should use your debit card 2021-01-30 00:59:52

I was talking with a coworker today who revealed that her identity had been stolen and used to file an unemployment claim. This happened last year when COVID was first kicking into high gear. She filed a claim with the unemployment agency and hasn't heard anything in nine months. She has not detected any other false claims or attempts to use her personal information other than the single incident.

I explained to her the steps I take to avoid identity theft, and one of them is the judicious use of my debit card. I NEVER use my debit card online or at any point of sale. I don't even use my debit card at shady-looking ATMs hidden in the corners of convenience stores. I only use my debit card at a large bank ATM to withdraw cashola. 

Here is my rationale. Any time you use your debit card online or at a point-of-sale location, there is always the possibility that your data will be stolen and used for fraudulent purchases. When this happens to your debit card, it's YOUR money. I don't know how happy you would be if suddenly $1k was siphoned out of your bank account, but I would imagine most people would be freaked out. The real problem is that money is gone until the bank conducts an investigation and then decides to refund your money. In the meantime, you are out the cash. That's unacceptable. 

If your credit card gets compromised, you're not out anything. You contact the credit card company (or more likely they will contact you), tell them it's a fraud, they cancel your card and issue you another one. It's a minor inconvenience to be without your credit card, but you're not out any money. I use credit cards for all purchases and then pay them off every month so I don't incur finance charges. I also get all the points associated with those purchases, which fund flights, hotel stays, and Amazon purchases to name a few.

Never use your debit card online and avoid using it for purchases at point-of-sale unless absolutely necessary.

Brandon Wilson

I had an interview today A Job History Part 2

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This is the only place you should use your debit card