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Cash Vs. Convenience: Is Paying With Credit Worth The Cost?

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS --- Target and other retailer's scams are sending consumers scrambling to make sure their credit wasn't hacked. In the age of modern technology, is paying with credit really worth the convenience?
"Our technology was not built with the idea of privacy and information security."
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS --- More than a month after the Target data breach, its effects still lingering.

Don Faulkner is the Chief Information Security Officer for The University of Arkansas. He said technology is not made for accessibility.

"Our technology was not built with the idea of privacy and information security," said Faulkner. "It changes the way we think about protecting ourselves as a retailer. We didn't think about the fact that someone could hack into the cash register, but that's effectively what happened in the Target environment."

As many shoppers swipe their credit cards, daily, it begs the question. Is convenience worth the cost?

"People do want to have privacy, but they want to have the convenience that comes with our modern society and all of our technology as well," said Faulkner. "It's easy. All I have to do is walk up to a check out register, swipe my card and I can pay. All of those things make it convenient not only for the customer, but also for the retailer."

But does it make it easy for scammers? Absolutely.

So, to stay safe, should consumers only carry cash?

"There's a convenience and there's a privacy and there's a security question with both cash and credit. There are benefits to both," said Faulkner. "From the perspective of 'Is my money safe?' yes, it's safe to use your credit card."

Faulkner said there's no way to know when breaches like Targets, will actually end.

Faulkner will be speaking about privacy and data on January 31st at The University of Arkansas at the NWA Tech Fest.

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