American Credit Cards Easier Targets for Criminals
According to online security experts, America's lack of investment in breach-resistant credit cards has made the U.S. a prime target for identity thieves. Many European consumers carry cards with smart chips or RFID tags to deter forgeries, while added PINs or passcodes add extra security to online transactions. With no such security features mandated by American lawmakers, credit cards here have become significantly easier to clone.

However, the threat to American consumers doesn't just end with tighter security on credit cards themselves. Many of the biggest card thefts have occurred when hackers compromised point of sale systems at retailers, hotels, and restaurants. By mid-March, a reporter for Seattle's KOMO-TV had confirmed 56 reported such security breaches during 2010.

Although credit card issuers have taken proactive measures to close accounts potentially affected by data breaches, the inconvenience of changing credit card numbers unexpectedly can cause problems for consumers who rely on automatic bill payments and other conveniences. Personal finance experts advise using separate credit cards for travel expenses and bill payments, reducing the likelihood that consumers would have to change all of their account details after a suspected breach.

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.