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The current global coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges to our nation. From very real health concerns to unemployment to increased mental health issues due to isolation. While it’s best to keep a positive outlook and never give up hope that this, too, shall pass, it’s also important to be realistic.

During the first part of 2020 there have been a rash of ATM thefts across the country. From Texas to California to Michigan to Illinois, ATM thefts and attempted thefts plagued law enforcement.

How Do I Keep My ATM Safe?

With the uptick in ATM thefts, it is important to ensure the safety of your ATM and its customers. Thankfully, there are ways to keep your ATM safe that will help deter would-be thieves.


You should have “eyes” on your ATMs at all times, especially if they are located outside of your business location. Photographic cameras, CCTV, and video cameras can help deter criminals from attempting to break into your ATM if they know that they are being recorded. And in the event of a break in, that footage can be a significant boon to helping law enforcement find the perpetrator(s).

Dye Packs

It has become increasingly common for thieves to forgo attempting to break into an ATM machine itself while on premises, and instead attempt to take the entire ATM itself to break into later in a “safer” location.

In order to thwart thieves, placing a dye pack within your ATM can help render useless the money within the ATM. 

What is a Dye Pack?

According to the website HowStuffWorks, “A dye pack consists of a stack of real bills, usually of $10 or $20 denominations, with the dye device stuck in the middle of the stack. In the past, the device itself was made of a rigid plastic and was quite detectable to the skilled criminal. Today, however, new technology has allowed the dye to be housed in a thin, flexible package, making a dye pack virtually indistinguishable from a regular stack of money.”

When a dye pack explodes, it releases dye that colors the cash inside, rendering it useless.

GPS Tracker

Another way to locate a stolen ATM or ATM cash is to place a GPS tracker in your machine. If your ATM is stolen, the GPS tracker can send real time location data to law enforcement, allowing them to catch the thieves in expedited time.

ATM Software Security

Keeping your ATM software up to date can ensure the installation of updated security systems to help avoid hacking attempts.

Some other ATM software security steps include:

  • Installing a VPN in your ATM’s network.
  • Monitor the software system to look for updates that have not been authorized.
  • Install a firewall allowing only authorized users to access the software.
  • Keep administrator usage of ATM security software to a minimum. According to a paper released by ATMIA, the ATM Industry Association, “Each person with full administrative access to an ATM is a threat to its integrity.”

Visual ATM Checks

One of the most important security measures for an ATM is to visually check it on a regular basis. By checking the ATM on a random, but regular basis, you can help to ensure that it is security placed and that the ATM has not been tampered with.

By taking a few simple steps, you will be able to help protect your ATM and your customers from theft during this uncertain time in our world and long thereafter.