Credit card companies making strides in security

AP Photo

AUSTIN (KXAN)- With more companies falling victim to data breaches, credit card companies are issuing cards with more advanced security to keep customers’ information safe. Those cards are equipped with something called EMV technology- or better known as a microprocessor chip.

The chips make the credit cards harder to counterfeit by encrypting transaction data differently each time its used.

“If some hacker gets that bit of information from your card, it kind of acts like an expired password and it won’t be any good to them when they try and use it later on,” said Matt Schulz with consumer website creditcards.com.

Shulz says that most credit cards companies will start issuing these chip cards to customers within the next year if they don’t already offer them.

“2015 is going to be the year of the chip card,” said Schulz.

Austin shopper Lauren Johnson recently had both of her credit cards replaced, after shopping at Home Depot several months ago.

“One of the new cards I got came with one of those chips and I’ve used it several times already with no problem,” said Johnson.

Chip cards are inserted vertically into the processors and require a pin number for additional security. Schulz says that’s because pin numbers offer more security than hand-written signatures, which can be easily forged.

Most chip cards also come with the usual magnetic stripe so they can be swiped and used at retailers that haven’t updated to processors that can read the chip technology.

“It started out with just one in 10 people were a victim and now it’s about three,” said the Director of UT’s Center for Identity Dr. Suzanne Barber. “In the upcoming year it will be about six and 10. The number is growing at a rapid rate every year. Your time will come.”

A recent survey by creditcards.com found that 45% of customers say they will not go back a retailer that’s been breached to complete their holiday shopping.

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