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Here’s why you must not use a debit card at a hotel

June 23, 2014

Hotel front desk

There has been cases of your secure data – like credit card – being in hands of hackers who link in to the databases of hotels and get your data. Do you know if your data is secure when you allow the front desk to swipe your card? Consumer Reports recommends asking for an “Attestation of Compliance” (AOC) certificate from the hotel to be on the safe side.

So the next time you’re at a hotel, make sure to ask for their AOC and read the terms they have listed there. But…

If the hotel can’t or won’t show you its AOC, pay by credit card instead of debit card, because, if the hotel attracts a security breach, it’s easier to resolve unauthorized credit charges and replace a compromised card than it is to repair debit card fraud, which can drain funds from your underlying checking account and set off a cascade of overdraft fees and late payment charges.

But if you find yourself not having a credit card, or it doesn’t read the magnetic data for some reason, then user your debit card as a credit card, which means that you select the “credit” option on many card readers — even though you’re using a debit card — and sign to authorize your payment instead of punching in a PIN number. Some terminals don’t give you the “credit” option; with these, you swipe your card, then, when you’re prompted to provide a PIN, press “cancel” and tell the cashier you want to sign for your transaction. Yes, hackers could still steal your data, clone your debit card, and use it like a credit card — just as you did— to make unauthorized charges, but they won’t have your PIN to withdraw cash via an ATM.

Read full article at: Are you booked in a hacker-friendly hotel?



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