You probably have heard about the Target and Home Depot data breaches. You may wonder what exactly they entail and why they occur. Merchants are not subject to the same federal data protection standards as financial institutions, such as your credit union. This means it’s easier for hackers to gain access to your credit card number, debit pin number, or other personal data through a merchant.
Although you may have only heard about a few breaches, over 500 data security breaches have occurred so far in 2014 exposing over 75 million data records. That’s a lot of personal information put at risk!
What makes the situation even worse is that the merchants pay NONE of the cost for their weak and ineffective security measures! Credit unions clean up the mess the merchants caused by informing members and reissuing or blocking credit and debit cards. If fraud does occur, credit unions work with their members to remove the fraudulent charges and help members keep their hard-earned money. It’s your money and your credit union wants to protect it.
Why don’t the merchants work harder to protect your data? Under current federal law, merchants pay NOTHING when they loses someone’s personal information, so they have no reason to improve their data protection standards.
Other ways you can help:
The merchants need to improve their data security so consumers like you are protected from identity theft and financial fraud, and credit unions can continue to serve members like you with affordable financial services. Let Congress know it is time to take action and hold merchants accountable for data breaches. Stop the Data Breaches!