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Breaking news such as the massive data breach at Experian or Target now seems common. Leaving aside the victims of actual fraud, I hear constantly from people who've had to swap out every debit and credit card, or whose cards were unilaterally replaced by their bank. This causes all sorts of problems.

Sometimes it makes you long for the days of cash. While cash is not practical for everything, there are very compelling reasons to consider it or other alternatives instead of those debit cards.

Of course, you also have to watch where you get your cash, too. Criminals are good at installing near-invisible skimmers on ATMs. These steal your card information and then a miniature camera over the keypad steals your PIN. It's everything a thief needs to drain your account.

Avoid out of the way ATMs in isolated areas. When you can, use ATMs in a restricted-access foyer. You should also hold your hand over the keypad when you enter your PIN. This blocks a camera from seeing what you're doing.

Now that you know how to safely get cash, follow this link to see where you should use it.

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