Do you feel safe when using your credit cards at retailers? Do you feel less safe after retailer Target announced that hackers stole the data on 40 million customers who used their credit cards at Target stores across the country? There is some good news: CBS Minnesota recently reported that new technology could make such credit-card data breaches more uncommon.
Smart cards on the way
As CBS Minnesota reports, smart cards could be an immense help. These cards store all of a consumer's accounts on one piece of plastic. That sounds risky. But these cards rely upon microchips and PINs to help keep consumer data safe. The cards already are popular throughout much of Europe, and hackers are rarely successful in cracking them.
Consumers in the United States can already reap the benefits of masking technology. CBS Minnesota reports that masked cards generate temporary numbers whenever consumers use them for something online or at brick-and-mortar stores. This number disappears once the transaction is finished, making it pointless for hackers who manage to steal it.
Of course, smart cards might be ideal. It might take a few more years, though, for these to show up in the country. No one knows why smart cards aren’t here already. But CBS Minnesota’s story speculates that one of the reasons might be that credit-card companies haven’t yet upgraded to the modern technology that they would need.