With over 100 million Americans falling victims to data breaches last year and major US retailers plagued by credit card hackers, Americans are becoming more worried about credit card fraud and identity crimes. It is time for the government to move the economy toward stronger, with more secure technologies that can better secure transactions and safeguard data, experts say.
President Barack Obama recently signed an executive order directing the government to lead by example in securing transactions and sensitive data. He also said that his credit card was once declined while he went to a New York restaurant with wife Michelle; this highlighted the urgent need for consumers’ financial security. The new BuySecure Initiative will provide consumers with more tools to secure their financial future by assisting victims of identity theft, improving the government’s payment security as a customer and a provider, and accelerating the transition to stronger security technologies and the development of next-generation payment security tools. The president also renewed his call to Congress to enact overdue cyber security legislation that will help protect Americans.
Adri Chaudhuri, a financial professional based in Newark, Delaware who used to work in the credit card-related department of JP Morgan, told the Global Times, “The new Buy-Secure initiative is a step that should have been taken earlier. However, this will be the first step of many to reach that level of security where we can feel better about what information we tend to share with the world while making purchases of any kind.” He said that Americans have had multiple data breach incidents both in the financial and retail sectors which have compromised millions of citizens’ personal information in the past 15 years. About 69 percent of Americans report that they frequently or occasionally worry about identity theft.
About 62 percent expressed their worries about having a computer or smart phone hacked, according to a Gallup poll conducted in October. Over a quarter of Americans, 27 percent, say they or another household member had information from a credit card used at a store stolen by computer hackers last year, making it the most frequently experienced of a list of nine crimes. About 11 percent say that they or a household member have had their computer or smart phone hacked last year, also among the top half of crimes on the list, the survey found.
NY-based Louis Cheng, an ERP management associate and who also works with UNDP, said to Global Times “The new portal for identity theft victims being launched will help people get immediate action when anything dangerous happens to their financial entities.”
Hacking tops the list of crimes in the US and people are more likely to worry about having credit card information they used in stores stolen by computer hackers than any other crime they are asked about, said Mena Lisa, a student specializing in finance at Boston University.