Following a major leak of consumer payment information that compromised 40 million credit and debit cards across the country, most people did nothing to protect themselves against credit card fraud.
That’s according to a survey by Denver’s idRADAR, a company specializing in identity theft prevention and credit card security. Tom Feige, the company’s CEO, said that even in the face of multiple data breaches in the past year, “consumers shockingly show very few signs of concern.”
Last December, Target stores acknowledged they had fallen victim to a massive security breach. Millions of payment cards used by customers during the busiest part of the holiday shopping season were put at risk of fraudulent use. The store offered customers free enrollment in credit monitoring service and identity theft protection following the incident, but it seems many people may not have taken advantage of the service.
Fewer than 4% signed up for credit monitoring
When idRADAR asked a random sample of 313 consumers about their behavior following the Target security breach, nearly 80% said they had taken no action after hearing about the occurrence. Just over 10% said they paid extra close attention to their credit card statements, bank account balances, and credit reports as a result of the Target breach, and a little more than 4% said they stopped shopping at Target for some period of time. Less than 4% of respondents said they signed up for credit monitoring service.
Whether they plan to take advantage of it or not, 93% of consumers think that a store or company affected by a data breach should offer free credit monitoring to consumers.
One reason that people aren’t signing up for credit monitoring and identity theft prevention programs could be that they don’t think they are valuable. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said credit monitoring is not worth the cost.
Changing passwords not popular
Other security precautions, such as changing online passwords used to access accounts, aren’t being exercised by the majority of those surveyed either. Approximately 58% of people reported that they would only change their passwords if forced to do so by the vendor or website. Fewer than 10% change their passwords on a monthly basis.
And although using debit cards instead of credit cards can put people at greater risk of having funds stolen, consumers seem unworried about paying for purchases with their debit cards. Seventy percent said they still use debit cards, even in the face of data breaches.
All major credit cards have zero-liability fraud policies, making users less vulnerable to loss of funds due to data theft. Debit card policies on fraud vary, but since funds come out of bank accounts immediately, customers can be left without money in their accounts while banks work on resolving fraud claims.