What you need to know before swiping your credit card

Posted at 12:15 PM, Dec 05, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-30 12:15:52-05

Consumers are swiping credit cards this holiday shopping season, but who takes the blame when there is a data breach?

That's the cover story in Friday's Business First. Financial institutions say it's not fair that they bear the expense of data breaches, while retailers are in no hurry to share the cost.

The report says, this year alone, there have been about 700 data breaches affecting more than 81.4 million records.

In New York, data breaches cost an estimated $1.4 billion last year. At least three credit unions in WNY are suing Home Depot for reimbursement since its episode.

Some analysts say retailers allowed the breaches to happen so they should take responsibility.

Others suggest one national standard where retailers follow the same security regulations as banks and credit unions.

Retailers want financial institutions to replace magnetic strip cards with new chip cards to protect customers, but that's expensive and still won't protect against online fraud.

For consumers, the Better Business Bureau says the best way to avoid a data breach is to use cash, but if you use plastic, track usage online, keep receipts and use credit rather than debit cards - since they don't have the same protections.

You can read more in Friday's Business First.