How secure are atms?

How secure are they? And which are the best and worse

I’ve always found the ATMs that charge to be the most secure.


I’ve been using ATMs all my life with no problems whatsoever.

That said, they don’t put warnings about covering your PIN for nothing.

As to which ones are safest, I guess from a card skimming point of view, ones inside a bank branch should be OK. Although I’ve seen a video of a vulnerable person having their cash ripped out of the machine before they could do anything about it. That was in a branch of Barclays.

Personally, I usually get cash by using cashback at a till.

You ask interesting questions, by the way.

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The best ATM for me is the one at my local Sainsbury’s. It’s covered so you can go when it’s raining, the Sun doesn’t get in your eyes, or prevent the screen being visible. The biggest factor in ATM acceptance for me is their height. I hate having to bend over so far just to use them. These ones though are just that little bit higher so I can just merely nod my head down a little.

The one at Asda isn’t anywhere near is good. It’s out in the open and too low. Plus, I think the local hooligans regularly poor drinks over it. Always looks dirty.


Thanks for the info.
Yes, im just asking as i don’t want to be a victim of fraud, you always hear about people doing stuff to ATMS on the news

ATMs in theory are completely secure, unless they’ve been tampered with.

I don’t find the feeling of using ATMs very secure as essentially you’re standing in a public place, on display, with a load of cash in your hand.


I use to give the card slot a little wiggle before I used it. :sweat_smile:


On the rare occasion I need to use an ATM it’ll usually be one indoors or at a large supermarket to avoid beggars etc

In some countries, ATMs are always in an enclosed space (e.g. small lobby), never outside. You usually have to swipe a card (any card) to open the door to get to them.

Security wise, I’m guessing in order for most secure to least:

  • Inside the main part of a bank
  • Inside the lobby area of a bank
  • A in-built machine (i.e. built into a wall) within a supermarket
  • A in-built machine on the outside of a supermarket or bank
  • An in-built machine elsewhere
  • A freestanding machine within a a major shop (Coop etc)
  • A freestanding machine elsewhere (i.e. pub/club) - how do I even know it is meant to be there let alone if it is legit?
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Thanks guys, i did used to have mild schizophrenia so i sometimes get a bit over-cautious and paranoid about things.

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Must be really difficult to use if you are a wheelchair user. Probably can’t.

I use a built-in one outside Tesco to get money out for my hair cut. I wish my barber accepted cards

Me too, so now I’m growing my hair out :laughing:

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Safe as houses, just secure your pin when typing it in and glance at the machine to spot any tampering. Oh and the guy behind you in a long coat, shades and hat.

As mentioned, I do tend to give the card slot a little skim before putting my card in. Just be vigilant of people around you as there can be quite a few scamming techniques.

Also, highly recommend using a RFID wallet.

ATMs by banks or shops are usually alright. Train stations maybe. But you do have some ATM kiosks in the arse end of nowhere, if you don’t feel safe it’s probably a good idea to hold off unless it’s necessary.

I tend not to hold cash anymore as it’s pretty much redundant for the majority of my use, and I hate holding change!

Depends what your view of secure is… :grin:

Onto the actual topic at hand, ATM’s are probably most safe inside where they are better overseen by staff rather than secluded outside ones where skimming is easier to set up. I haven’t however had any fraud problems with ATM’s and I tend to skim over them to see if anything looks out of place.

I liked the ones in Malaysia. A lot of the banks have the ATM’s inside a section of the bank which remains open 24/7 and even have a security guard inside.

Many of them are Windows XP(e) boxes connected to a safe with money in. What could go wrong?

This message is my own personal opinion based on what I have read in the public domain.


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