One thing that millions, if not billions of people around the world do everyday is access their cash through an ATM or a cash machine. They represent the ultimate in convenience and ease of use, as they allow the user to access their own money without having to queue for hours in the bank or make small talk with a bank teller. However, as with all things, there are rules of etiquette when using the ATM, and here are perhaps the most important ones.
While using an ATM is a quick and simple experience, it is an unfortunate fact of life that when we use a cash machine to withdraw money from a bank account, that we are slightly vulnerable to having our money stolen. This doesn't mean that by using a cash machine that we are putting ourselves in danger, more that when you are seen to be handling cash in public - even if it's a small amount of cash - that we are more attractive to thieves. However, there are many, many ways to stop this from happening, and ATM companies have taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of their customers, such as by installing CCTV cameras at their machines, and adding simple security measures, such as programmes that will chew up the user's cash card if they input the wrong pin number three times in a row. When using a cash machine, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings; take your card as soon as the machine instructs you to, and don't leave the machine until you have your card, cash and your wallet safely in your bag or in your pocket. If this means taking up extra time at the machine, don't worry, this is about your personal safety, so take your time until you feel comfortable.
When you use an ATM, you will be in a confined space; so its important for you to feel comfortable and safe. However, there are some people that have no notion of personal space, or simply aren't aware that they are standing too close to others. This is especially true in queues for the ATM, so if you're standing in line, or especially if you're using the machine, don't be afraid to ask the person behind you to step back from you while you use the machine. They may be a little taken aback by your request, but everyone wants to have a little privacy when they're typing in their PIN or when they're putting money back in their wallet or purse. The chances are that the person standing behind you wants to have some privacy, so when you ask, be polite, be courteous, and remind that person that you need to have your personal space when you are using the ATM.
Remember, it's not dangerous to use an ATM, but it can make you a little vulnerable to others, but never forget that ATM companies take the safety of their customers very seriously, and have created a number of safety features to keep you safe. These, coupled with your own self-awareness will make using the ATM a fun and safe experience.