Consumers are jittery in the wake of data breaches at stores like Target and Neiman Marcus. More than 100 million accounts were compromised at Target alone.
While there is no fool proof method to protect from credit card fraud, there are steps consumers can take to decrease their chances of becoming a victim.
Most secure credit card overall
Bank of America
BofA was named "Best in Class in Security" by the annual credit card scorecard conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research.
Javelin's Al Pascual says the bank's cards have been in the top spot for the last seven years.
of America actually auto enrolls consumers in alerts," he said. And that's not all -- "they give you a
laundry list of different types of alerts that you can sign up for, for
different conditions, and we think that's a really powerful feature."
Best card for fraud preventionUSAA
USAA's cards score highest in fraud prevention on Javelin's survey, because they are able to preempt fraud events.
This bank is constantly reassessing and reviewing its fraud prevention efforts. Javelin's Al Pascual says while USAA didn't take the top spot on the survey, it is a close second, "nipping at the heels of BofA."
Best at fraud detectionWells Fargo
Fraud is difficult to prevent, even with the best detection methods.
Wells Fargo Bank cards score highest in the Javelin study in detecting fraud that has already occurred. The bank sends out a range of alerts to customers, notifying them of card activity and changes to account information. This makes it easy for customers to monitor their accounts and respond quickly if they see something fishy.
Tied - Best at resolving fraudAssociated Bank
If your credit card has been compromised, Associated Bank helps you quickly resolve the situation. It's for this reason the bank tied on the Javelin survey for "Best in Resolution."
Tied - Best at resolving fraudSun Trust
Sun Trust Bank also ranks on the survey in the "Best in Resolution" category.
Javelin's Al Pascual says they "really try to get the situation back on track for consumers, and we think that's encouraging."
"Chip and PIN" technology
"Chip and PIN" technology is the current standard in Europe, Canada and Mexico.
Instead of swiping a magnetic strip (1960's technology), customers insert the card into a card reader. As an added layer of security, instead of signing, customers enter a PIN.
While this technology is currently not widely used in this country, there is an effort to change that.
Identity protectionThere are a variety of companies out there that offer identity protection. If you are the victim of a data breach, and you are offered free protection services, Javelin's Al Pascual says definitely take the offer.
"Those data breach notifications, they are very accurate indicators of when a consumer is at risk of suffering identity fraud," he says.
"Hidden" cardNew technology offered through this very high-tech card hides a portion of the credit card number, both on the card and on the magnetic strip.
"In order for a consumer to turn the card on, in order to use it, they have to enter a code onto the face of the card," said Jeff Mullen, founder and CEO of Dynamics Inc., the company that designed the card.
Customers type the code on buttons on the card itself. The full card number is then revealed in a digital display, briefly, and the magnetic strip is turned on, making it possible to swipe. After a short time, the display disappears, and the magnetic strip is erased.
The card, which is not yet available to public but is coming soon, according to Mullen, also offers added online security. Online shoppers using "Hidden" will get a new four digit security code each and every time they turn the card on.