Thursday, May 15, 2008


Or perhaps "Nagdebit"...

I confess I have only ever used a debit card once in my life, the reasons being a) I am admittedly paranoid about giving stores direct access to my bank account (continue reading if you think I'm nuts) and b) I have always withdrawn the estimated amount of cash required in advance (because I only ever go to stores--especially grocery stores--with a specific list of items and I am not one for impulse buying), thus ensuring that I don't spend more than I want to.

So then, back in March, I found myself on line at Hannaford's (a local supermarket chain I like better than Price Chopper) and suddenly realized that I had forgotten to go to the ATM. As ever, the fact that my life is a tightrope walk between cheapness and laziness kicked in--and breaking out of line, going to the store's ATM, and getting back in line would take effort, plus their ATM charges me a $2.50 fee in addition to the $2.00 my own bank charges me to use other banks' ATMs. So when cheapness and laziness are both involved, well, that's a no-brainer...

So I used my debit card for the first time in my life, and a week later I see the following story in the news:
A security breach at an East Coast supermarket chain exposed more than 4 million card numbers and led to 1,800 cases of fraud, the Hannaford Bros. grocery chain announced Monday.

Hannaford said credit and debit card numbers were stolen during the card authorization process and about 4.2 million unique card numbers were exposed, placing the case among the largest data breaches ever.

The breach affected all of its 165 stores in the Northeast...
Naturally, I keep Scrooge-like tabs on my various accounts and detected no nefarious activity, but yesterday my bank, in response to this unprompted by me, sent me a new debit card.

Y'know what? I shall continue to stick with cash.

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