(Memphis) Big stores are faced with a big problem, keeping your credit information safe.
“You can only go so far, but I think a lot of it is you trusting the merchants that you are shopping with and assuming they are taking the right precautions,” says shopper Rebekah Zeitlin.
Lately, businesses have fallen short, leaving leery customers wondering.
“I think more likely we will use cash instead of a credit card or debit card and that is a bummer,” says Zeitlin.
Shoppers depend on businesses they patronize to put their own security in place.
It’s why Cyber Security Research and Training has become a big focus at the University of Memphis’ Center for Information Assurance, showing businesses how to keep customer information secure.
They say it starts at the top with executives who have access to information, and may not take extra steps to keep it from being accessed by others.
“They have to be aware not only that these things can happen, they also have to practice on their own and instruct the other technical people to follow access usability,” say Dipankar Dasgupta, Director of the Center of Information Assurance at The University of Memphis.
Like consumers, businesses have to be aware of who has access to information, how wireless devices can open up danger, and even how those inside companies can find selling customer information easy and lucrative.
It’s not what you want to hear, but what experts say businesses need to hear.
“The problem was they cracked the computer system. There is really not much I can do as a consumer about that,” says shopper Meg Carne.
The Memphis Consumer Credit Education Association says if your information is stolen, contact your credit issuers quickly and start checking on your accounts regularly.
The Federal Trade Commission has forms that can be downloaded to get everything started. You can find them at www.ftc.gov.