From phone numbers and addresses to birthdays and anniversaries, there are a lot of important digits we have to juggle as we go about our day.
And when you open a bank account with a debit card, you’ll have another key four-digit string to remember: your PIN. While there are a lot of exciting things about opening up an account with a debit card, there is also a lot riding on those four numbers, so it's important to keep those digits safe and ensure that they are memorable.
So what is the role of a debit card PIN, why is it important to keep it secure, and—equally important—what are some tips to help you recall it on the go?
Let’s dive in!
Why Do You Need a Debit Card PIN?
When you open up your bank account and are assigned a debit card, you’ll also be assigned a personal identification number (PIN). Many banks, however, give their customers the option to set their own PIN number. Whichever path you take, you will use your PIN each time you access an ATM, make a purchase, access debit card-related online services, and for a range of other debit card-enabled transactions.
Whether there is one person on the account or several, each person will be assigned their own debit card and, similarly, their own PIN number. The debit PIN is often four digits long and is used to keep access to your account and funds safe; it should always be kept secure.
How To Create a Secure Debit Card PIN and Keep It Safe
With so much riding on these four digits, it’s important to keep that number safe (and memorable). Here are some do’s and don'ts for creating a secure PIN and how to handle it.
- Use different debit card PINs for different cards and accounts.
- Hide your debit card PIN and don’t share it with others.
- Select an easy-to-remember string of numbers or letters signified by numbers, such as a date that’s important to you or a four-letter acronym.
- Use your debit card PIN to handle online purchases—especially from unfamiliar retailers—as credit cards make it easier to minimize loss if information is stolen.
- Select a PIN that is commonly associated with you or your family, like the first few digits of your phone number or Social Security number.
- Reuse a PIN that matches a password or PIN that you use for another account.
- Write down your PIN and store it near your debit card.
- Select a generic PIN like “0000” or “1234” that is easy for criminals to guess.
Also, get in the habit of regularly monitoring your bank accounts and reviewing your recent transactions for any potentially suspicious activity that could flag as unauthorized access to your account or debit card.
If you believe there is unusual activity on your account or that someone may have seen or learned about your PIN, notify your bank and request a new debit card or change your PIN.
Bringing It All Together
Selecting your debit card PIN may seem like just one of a string of many steps in establishing your bank account, but the digits you choose will become a key part in keeping your personal information and money safe.
Following these best practices—and avoiding the common pitfalls—can make using your debit card an easy and secure way to make your purchases. In fact, you can be rewarded by your bank for regular use of your debit card, such as through First State Community Bank’s Grand Giveaways event that lasts through April 2023.
Want to learn more about all the benefits and features of First State Community Bank’s Checking Accounts? Then take a moment to review A Guide to Understanding Your Checking Account Options.