'Are you embarrassed to hide your pin code when paying in shops?' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • vax2002
    vax2002 Posts: 7,187 Forumite
    Not really as the technology in chip and pin machines has been hacked for a long time, a University student wrote a paper on how easy it was to intercept the data from the terminal.
    It was almost childs play and certainly in the grasp of a fraudster.
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  • cazbie16
    cazbie16 Posts: 94 Forumite
    edited 6 December 2011 at 12:16PM
    I usually put my purse in my free hand and pretend I'm steadying the machine in shops. At atms I just lean in really close but still use my purse as a shield. I don't care what other people think, I don't have loads of money, but I'm sure as hell going to protect what little I do have!
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  • Sublime_2
    Sublime_2 Posts: 15,741 Forumite
    No, why should I be. If people are looking they shouldn't be end of. Always cover with my other hand, not that I've got a lot on mine!

    Don't care what other people think to be honest. :D
  • Crabman
    Crabman Posts: 9,943 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Intrepid Forum Explorer
    If it's not busy in the shop, I use the "all fingers on the buttons" tactic that Martin mentions. If it is busy (e.g. small petrol station kiosk) I'll use both hands so there's no prospect of anyone seeing it.

    Banks have covered themselves by not paying out where an apparent fraudster uses your PIN, so it's wise to do all you can to protect yourself.

    Of course, in the event a compromised Chip & Pin device is used to make fraudulent transactions, it'll be difficult to convince your bank that you weren't careless (e.g. written it down and kept with card) since they have convinced themselves that Chip & Pin technology is infallible despite Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory suggesting otherwise (PDF).
  • JulieElizabeth
    I ALWAYS cover my PIN, either at cash machines or in shops. Ever watched the Real Hustle?
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    The sales assistant hates it when I take the terminal out of it's holder and hold it close to me to enter the number. It never goes back in the holder right. She says I am the only one who removes it. Not my problem...don't stick it at chest height where everyone passing behind you can see the number being entered whether you have covered the numbers or not I know what you are pressing by where your hand is. Top left that's a 1 now you've moved your hand down and to the middle that's a 5 up and to the right that's a 3 and right down the bottom in the middle that's a 0.
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  • Sensory
    Sensory Posts: 497 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I'm usually extremely self conscious and care too much about what others may think of me, but no, I'm certainly not embarrassed when it comes to hiding my PIN. I pay attention to my payment, and everyone else should mind their own business; if they can't help but sneak a peak at my hands and fingers, then I'm doing them a favour.

    My elderly mother had her card stolen whilst she was at an ATM, and as a result of deception and confusion, she entered her PIN right in front of the thief. Needless to say her money was stolen, and she now only draws out money from bank cashier counters.
  • Nicksmum
    I always cover the keypad when entering my PIN,ok it isn't going to stop the serious hackers but it will stop the casual "look over your shoulder and steal the card"brigade.I prefer to use the cashpoint inside the bank branch becasue logic tells me the machine is less likely to have been tampered with.I don't care if people think I am suspicious,having had my card hacked once before its something I would try to prevent wherever possible.
  • tagq2
    tagq2 Posts: 382 Forumite
    It would be nice if PIN pads were of a uniform, accessible design and layout so some didn't have keys which were hard to press or ancillary buttons in random weird positions so you have to quickly memorise the layout before typing blind.

    Covering as much of the pad with the first hand would defeat grease pick-up or thermal camera; covering as much of your typing hand with your other hand will stop the extensor tendons showing as you press the buttons. This is probably overkill - criminals are looking for the low-hanging fruit and the nastiest threat in a dark street is probably rubber hose cryptanalysis.
  • Arthurian
    I've tried covering the pad with my other hand, twice. Each time I gave up, because I wasn't sure I was hitting the right numbers! I know, it should be easy to work out, by sliding your finger over the other buttons, without pressing too hard, but you're pressurised by the queue of shoppers behind you, and the checkout girl wanting to catapult you through the till area as fast as possible, and the consequences of entering the wrong number 3 times in a row.
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