Is your PIN at risk from this hidden danger?

When it comes to financial privacy, a new study suggests we're all a bunch of nosy parkers who peek at fellow shoppers' PINs and would sneak a look at colleagues' payslips if we got the chance.

So if you're a little lax with your financial details it to pays to step up security to ward off prying eyes and the risk of fraud.

PIN peeking
Figures from a poll by discount website reveal that two fifths of Brits admit to looking at a fellow shopper's PIN when behind them in a queue. The majority (61%) admit to 'just being nosy' while 11% claim it was 'accidental.'

While we are bombarded with warnings about the importance of security at ATMs and the risk of fraud, only 24% of respondents said that they were cautious when entering their PINs at cash machines or shop checkouts. Reasons for the lax in security range from ATM PIN pads not being discreet enough to it not mattering whether others see their PIN numbers.

More mistakes
Accidentally leaving cash or a receipt behind is a big mistake as the research also shows half would look at mini-statements or receipts, while a dishonest two thirds of people would also take money up to the sum of £50 if left by a previous user. It's not just strangers that prove a risk to financial privacy as 71% said they would 'definitely' secretly look at a colleagues wage slip to see how much money they were on.

Farhad Farhadi, personal finance expert at, In terms of what can be done to protect yourself from fraud or the prying eyes of colleagues, just use common sense; don't leave wage slips lying around and do what you can to keep your PIN covered at tills and ATMs. Whilst the person behind in the queue might not be making plans to steal from you, you really never know who is watching."

It also pays to be careful if using a public computer at work to check your personal email or log into your internet banking. While we'd like to think we could trust colleagues if we got distracted and left the computer logged into a private account, this research shows this isn't always the case so it's really not worth the risk. While banks and building societies usually reiuburse victims who have lost out financially as a result identiy fraud, it can be harder to claim back any losses if banks have evidence that you have been negligent with your financial details.

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