ATMs continue to be one of the most convenient methods for Canadians to withdraw cash from their bank cards, or even credit cards, whenever they need it. The desire for quick cash has resulted in there being more ATMs per person in Canada than in any other country. The ATM business is extremely profitable, but if you're interested in investing in your own ATM machine, it's important to be fully aware of the security risks involved. In particular, prevent identity theft via thermal imaging by buying ATMs with metal pin pads rather than plastic or rubber ones.
What Is Thermal Imaging?
Thermal imaging is a technique used where a machine detects the infrared radiation of each object based on its heat signature. The heat signature is the amount of heat that the object is giving off. The basic gist is, the hotter an image is, the more radiation is emitted. Thermal imaging sensors essentially detect minor differences and changes in the temperature of all surfaces. In short, you can easily tell the precise location where an organism came into contact with an inanimate object since a heat signature will be left behind.
There are many cameras and even accessories that can be added to phones that will record a heat signature. While some cameras show the thermal imaging in gray scale, others use colors for users to easily identify temperature gradients. The temperature gradients will show how much heat is still left on the surface. Naturally, a hotter surface was touched last.
How Can Thermal Imaging Be Used to Steal Pin Information?
It may seem odd that thermal imaging can be used to steal one's identity from an ATM machine; however, it's actually quite an ingenious concept. Once you touch the surface of the pin pads, your fingertips will leave a heat signature that can be detected by a thermal imaging camera. This will provide criminals looking to steal your personal information with your pin number. With a more advanced thermal imaging camera, the temperature gradient on the various pins will give the criminal an idea of the order of the numbers. In short, it can be very easy for someone to crack pin information.
How Do Metal Pin Pads Prevent Identity Theft?
If you're investing in an ATM machine, one of your primary concerns should be whether the machine is secure or not and whether the personal information of any users may be stolen at your machine. Since users can become a target with thermal imaging cameras, you want to be sure to purchase an ATM machine with a metal pin pad. The reason being that a metal pin pad is not vulnerable to thermal imaging cameras at all.
First of all, heat basically dissipates quickly on metal surfaces, so it is quite difficult for a readable heat signature to be left behind. Second of all, a metal pin pad will reflect heat signatures should someone try to capture a photograph using a thermal imaging camera. This means that it is virtually impossible for a thermal imaging camera to pick up anything at all. A metal pin paid is simply much more secure.
Considering the fact that you are responsible for protecting the identity and the personal information of those who use your ATM machines, you should take all the precautions necessary to secure your machine. ATM machines with rubber pin pads may be a tad less expensive, but they are more vulnerable to thermal imaging cameras. It's worth spending a little bit more on ATM machines with metal pin pads thanks to the heightened amount of security they are able to offer.
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