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Not Actual Validation

July 14, 2017

I know why it says it, but I still like to hear it. It’s not even sincere, but there’s just something about positive validation that makes me feel better. . .even when it’s a credit card machine that is validating me.

It’s stupid. I was buying something today and I paid with a debit card. I haven’t actually had a credit card for nearly 10 years. I think there might be one in my name still, but I’ve long since lost the card somewhere in one of the “junk” drawers in my house.

A debit card gives you all the same protections as a credit card. The difference, of course, is that you can’t run up a big bill on a debit card. You can only spend the money you have in the bank.

Several years ago, my family went through a really tough time financially. I ended up $80,000 in debt without a job and my family living in my brother-in-law’s horse barn. That was kind of a low point. We didn’t declare bankruptcy, but it was close. We eventually paid off all the debts. I drive an old car with a lot of miles, but it’s paid for. We owe for the house, but that’s it. It’s a wonderful feeling of freedom.

So, that’s why I use a debit card. The worry with a debit card is that someone will find out your PIN. Even with the new chip cards, the PIN is still a weak link, security wise. Many stores offer little shields around the keypad to help you hide the numbers from prying eyes. I’ve found a foolproof way of hiding my PIN.

When you go to enter your PIN, put your first three fingers across the keys like this.


Now, when you need to push a button, just depress whichever finger is over that key. Slide your hand up and down for the other numbers. I defy you to watch me enter my PIN and be able to capture my PIN. 


Being a good father, I was explaining this technique to my 17 year old son.

Yeah, I know I already do this.

Really? Where did you learn that?

I watched you enter your PIN one time and realized I couldn’t tell what numbers you were typing.

Oh. . .wait a minute. . .

After you enter your PIN, the reader goes out and checks your bank account and transfers to the money. And that is the point at which I always smile. Oh sure, I’m happy that I have money in my account, but the part that makes me smile is when the machine announces that it is okay with my life choices. I feel unjustifiably validated when the card reader announces that I’m

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Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss
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LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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