The follow is a guest post on behalf of Money Supermarket.

Debit cards are now so prevalent in everyday financial transactions that it is more important than ever to protect yourself against debit card fraud. One of the most important things to prevent this type of fraud is to protect your PIN number.

The PIN is the secret number that you enter at points-of-sale and into banking machines to verify your card. Never tell anyone what this number is. It is also important to be the only person using your card. You should not lend this card out to anyone.

It is essential not to write this number down because this makes it too easy for thieves to discover what it is. Never use an obvious number for your PIN. This makes it too easy for clever thieves to guess.

If the card should become lost or stolen, or even stuck in a banking machine, notify your bank immediately. If there is a purchase on your monthly statement that you do not recognize you should change your number immediately and contact your bank.

When making purchases make sure that no one can see the PIN number that you enter when you complete the transaction. Hold your hand to shield the debit machine and lean your body slightly into it.

Watch out for people who look over your shoulder to see the PIN that you enter. If anyone tries to talk to you while you are making a transaction, finish the transaction first and then talk to them.

Always remember to take your card after you make the transaction. It is also a good idea to take the transaction printout. This way, no one is privy to your private financial information.

If there is a large amount of money in your account and someone sees the transaction slip it might make you a more likely subject for theft. Always keep an eye on your monthly transaction records to make sure that no unauthorized payments appear. Keep a daily cash limit for your cards.

This way, you will know if any unauthorized amounts have been withdrawn. Sometimes, it is easy to forget when a cash withdrawal has been made from a bank machine.

Have a limit on how much cash can be withdrawn or how much can be purchased throughout the day. Keep this at a lower amount.

If you need to withdraw more cash you can always go to the bank teller and ask for the amount you wish to withdraw. It is now possible to use a debit card to make purchases online at some retailers. If this is the case, make sure that the website is secured.

This can usually be seen by the little padlock symbol that appears in the lower corner of the browser screen. Most websites have secure shopping cards but it is always best to make sure.

When traveling, make sure to have the contact number of your bank so that you will be able to call immediately if something should happen to your card.

Taking all these precautions will go a long way towards protecting yourself from debit card fraud. It pays to be vigilant when your personal finances are concerned.