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Investors Reconsider Hacked Credit Cards

About half of investors say they check their credit card accounts more frequently in light of computer hacking events. 

| BY Kent McDill

Stores on two ends of the consumer shopping spectrum, Target and Neiman-Marcus, have had their credit card sales hit by computer hackers.

The costs are staggering, but the effects are still in question. But results of a survey of investors by  Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner indicate the results of these attacks is mixed, as investors make different decisions about how to respond to cyber-attacks on store credit cards.

Just under 50 percent (44 percent) of investors said the cyber-attacks have not changed their use of credit cards. That percentage climbs to 54 percent among investors with a net worth over $5 million.

Among investors under the age of 40, 62 percent have made no changes in the use of credit cards, the highest percentage among segments set forth by Millionaire Corner.

Fifty-one percent said the effect of the hacking on credit cards has made them check their account more frequently. Only 10 percent said they no longer shop at the stores effected by the hackings, and only 2 percent say they shop only by cash now.

The hackers were able to get the information by “stealing” information from the magnetic strips on the cards. Many retailers are considering inserting a microscopic computer chip on a card that could be recognized by new readers and much harder to hack.

Asked if such a move would make an investor more likely to use that credit card, 70 percent said yes, and over 70 percent of investors with a net worth of $1 million or more agreed. Among business owners, who perhaps were aware that such a program would be costly to retailers because they would have to change their credit card readers, only 55 percent said they would use the new credit card more actively.

Target said it would spend $100 million to switch to a “chip-and-PIN” system, which is used in almost all countries other than the United States. The other possible change is a “chip-and-signature’’ system, which some U.S. banks are using for their new credit cards.

About the Author

Kent McDill


Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.