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Card breaches and you

Oct 10, 2014

I am sure that you share my frustration and concern about the card breaches at major retailers like Home Depot and Target. There are lots of bad guys out there, and our favorite stores need to do more to protect their customers’ account information.

KeyPoint is certainly doing our part. Credit unions and other financial institutions are subject to high data protection standards under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. But merchants do not have data protection standards. Under today’s law, there is no merchant accountability. The law needs to change!

Protecting your personal and account information is always a top priority at KeyPoint. We use automated services to monitor all member card activity for suspicious behavior. We subscribe to proactive alerts that inform us as soon as a suspected breach has occurred. When we receive these notifications, we immediately take steps such as notifying those members who were affected, monitoring unusual account behavior, and reissuing cards. 

If your card is compromised and fraudulent transactions occur, your credit union will stand behind you and protect you from any risk of loss. This is why the big banks immediately block their compromised cards, to try to reduce their losses. Because KeyPoint is a member-owned financial institution, we take a kinder, gentler approach and allow you 10 days before we block your card (unless you are able to come into a branch to get a new card reissued immediately).

You can also take steps to help protect your accounts and avoid losses. Be sure to regularly monitor your checking and credit card accounts for suspicious activity, and report it immediately. Register your Visa® card(s) at Verified by Visa to help reduce online fraud.  You can find more great tips at the Federal Trade Commission’s website. 

Although Home Depot and Target made headlines for their major breaches, merchant breaches occur regularly. Financial institutions are not usually informed where the breach occurred—just advised which accounts were compromised. Consumers have a right to know where your information was breached.

As long as merchants are not held accountable to the same data protection standards as financial institutions, and as long as they are not held accountable for the damages caused by their breaches, then consumers will suffer. You can count on KeyPoint to take any and all possible actions to protect you!

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