The number of people who changed their PIN at a cash machine rose by more than 50 per cent in the three days following the HMRC data loss announcement, according to figures released by Link.
A spokesman for LINK, the UK ATM network, said, "There was no loss of PIN information in this security breach but our figures picked up an increase in the use of the LINK ATM PIN change service after this news broke. This probably means that people were taking advice and changing PINs which might have been easily guessed, for example, a child's date of birth.
"PIN change at a cash machine is the quickest and easiest way of changing your PIN in a secure way that takes effect instantly and does not involve letters and phone calls to and from the bank. PIN change is one of the services, besides cash withdrawals, that is instantaneous and available free-of-charge to most cardholders at most UK cash machines."
LINK offers the following top tips on how to protect your PIN:
- Always change your PIN if you think someone has seen it, or might know it.
- Always shield your PIN from potential view when typing it in at a shop or at a cash machine.
- When choosing your PIN, don't use a number or combination that can be easily guessed, eg. your birthday or your child's birthday.
- Don't write you PIN down anywhere.
- Never enter your PIN on any website.