32 lakh ATM cards compromised: Here are a few tips to stay safe

A massive debit card security breach has sent customers and the banks into a tizzy. Here is what you can do to be safe

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Bengaluru, Oct 21: A malware infection has led to over 32 lakh debit cards in India being compromised. Banks will either ask customers to replace or change the security codes of the debit cards.

The banks will not return the money that customers have lost. The banks say that the amount lost is very less and since it is not a transactional error from the bank but an ATM machine malware, the money lost would not be returned.

How to secure your debit card?

However, an RBI circular on debit cards says that in case of monetary loss on account of breach due to failure of security, the bank is liable to bear the loss.

Around 32 lakh debit cards in India were compromised after a malware infection hit the Hitachi Payments Services, which operates the ATMs. The debit cards used in the ATMs were compromised after they were exposed to the malware.

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2.6 million of the cards affected are Visa and MasterCard while the rest are on the RuPay platform. The National Payments Corporation of India says that the loss is very minuscule while also adding that the breach occurred a month back.

While banks have been told to individually deal with the problem, here are a few tips to keep your financial data from being stolen or being compromised.

Secure your data

  • Change the pin of the card.
  • Do not give out pin information to anyone.
  • Do not use ATMs of other banks.
  • If you have lost money, immediately inform the bank.
  • Set a limit on your card.
  • Change personal identity number once in six months.
  • Sign up for alerts.
  • Update mobile number and email id to receive all alerts

Do not panic

The Finance Ministry has said that the debit cards are completely safe. "Only about 0.5% of the total debit card details were compromised while remaining 99.5% cards are completely safe. Bank customers should not panic," Department of Financial Services additional secretary GC Murmu told PTI.

There are around 60 crore debit cards operational in India, of which 19 crore are indigenously developed RuPay cards while the rest are Visa and Master Card-enabled.

Since the data compromise took place from specific machines within a particular time period, it is just a limited issue and banks have asked their affected customers to replace their card or change their PIN, Murmu said, adding that other cards are not affected at all.

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