The good news is that banks and other holders of financial information are starting to take steps, albeit years late, to make financial crime more difficult to pull off. Banks and credit card companies have spent millions of dollars on systems that can recognize and preempt financial fraud. I get reader emails all the time describing how their first notification of stolen or abused financial information came from a bank, before the reader realized something was wrong. Years ago, most people made this discovery when a credit card or loan application was declined. That's progress.
Besides, what are your options? Try using cash only, and your life will be more disrupted than if you were a victim of cyber criminals. All of us simply have to live with the system as it is today. Despite the rampant breaches, it works -- mostly.
Ultimately, I believe that one big criminal event, caused by a coding error that opens a huge security hole, will expose the fragility of our financial system. The results will be catastrophic, and the financial industry will finally do something to reduce fraud significantly. Until then, we wait, and worrying beyond the usual vigilance is pointless.
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