Banks race to address ATM security issue - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Banks race to address ATM security issue


The clock is ticking for banks all across the country to update important security settings to keep your account info safe when you head to the ATM.

No matter who you bank with, everyone wants to make sure their personal information stays safe and secure. That's why many bankers say they're working hard to find a fix.

Just leaving an ATM, Jessie Farley is shocked to hear Microsoft is killing technical support for some 200,000 machines nationwide - leaving millions of accounts exposed to possible cyber attacks.

"Especially nowadays with the Internet, anybody can get a hold of your account information. I believe that's scary," she said.

"Sounds like business to me…It leaves us in a predicament, but now the bank has to find somebody else," bank customer Justin Jones said.

Late last year, the Federal Reserve System sent a letter to its banks, reminding them to take quick action in order to prevent the potential for data theft and unauthorized additions or deletions to accounts.

"Banks are scheduling projects, their timelines, etc. They're either working with vendors or devising their own solutions," said Steven C. Yeakel with the Virginia Association of Community Banks.

"Union is upgrading the operating software of our ATMs so we are aware of the phase out and taking steps to protect our systems. We have 201 ATMs across Virginia," said Bill Cimino with Union First Market Bank.

Meanwhile, you can also play a role. According to, if an ATM looks strange or asks you to do something you're not familiar with, don't use it. Also, sometimes the machine might try to eat your card. If it does, never re-enter your pin but call your bank right away.

To avoid any problems, banks can upgrade its ATMs to a newer version of Windows by April 8. Then Microsoft would continue offering security updates.

"It's just a project that needs to be managed," Yeakel said.

One customers are relying on.

"What if they don't find somebody else for their contract…it leaves us in a real hard bind," Jones said.

"Keep my security, anyway possible," Farley added.

Experts say you can also take your security into your own hands. Closely monitor your bank statements as well as your balances and if you ever notice anything remotely out of place, give your bank a call. After all, it's there to serve you.

The Virginia Banker's Association says its banks have a special monitoring plan it's been developing for quite some time now to help make this transition smoother.

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