Worried about security breaches? 4 places where using debit card can be especially risky

A new report finds that almost half of all Americans are victims of a credit breach over the past year.

Most of them had their credit card numbers exposed at Target, Michaels Stores, eBay or other retailers that were hacked.

But if you think a debit card would be a safer option after all this, think again.

While debit cards don't hit you with high fees, they are much riskier than credit cards, because they provide a door into your bank account, according to Bankrate.com .  

The personal finance website says thieves are installing credit card skimmers in more and more places, and if they skim your number, they get your money, immediately.

So Bankrate says don't use a debit card at:

    -Free standing ATMs (that are not part of a bank), because there's too much risk of a skimmer installed.

    -Gas pumps, which are also easy targets for thieves with skimmers.

    -Restaurants, where the server takes your card from you.

    -Online shopping, where you can't be sure who may have access to your card.

Doesn't that stink?

And from the "doesn't that stink" file, what can happen if your debit card is breached.

Thieves will take the money right out from your account.

You then have to wait for a fraud investigation to be completed to get your money back, which can take months.

Consumer Reports magazine recommends tying a debit card to a smaller checking account, not the main bank account you use for your mortgage, rent, or car payment.

That way you don't risk bouncing any important payments, and you don't waste your money.

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