Just how safe are our card payments?

I've just found out Wendy's is investigating 'unusual activity with payment cards' at some of it's US restaurants.

Yet another report of a possible cardholder data security breach.

Not that long ago, I went to use an ATM machine near my home and was stopped by two burly policemen who asked if they could have a minute of my time. Being a good law abiding citizen, I naturally agreed - although I was  wondering what it was all about. It seems that there had been a spate of ATM thefts recently and these two nice members of Her Majesty's constabulary wanted to show me (and others, of course) what to look for in an ATM that had been tampered with: cameras and false reader devices etc.

Perhaps we need to apply the same level of vigilance to card payment terminals! How many of us are so used to either handing over our card or inserting it into a device in the trust that we are not about to be robbed! How do we know that the terminal sitting on the counter hasn't been tampered with - or even worse is a rogue device placed there to capture your cardholder data. Let's face it - even some legitimate terminals look like they might be suspect if they look dirty or well-worn.

Personally, I feel much safer if the payment terminal is firmly held in a stand where no-one can get access to the cables or the device to plant rogue devices that could capture my card data, and I'm not beyond trying to see if the terminal is securely held! You can see the sort of thing I mean in our products section.

OK, I admit that I am biased here, but don't we all have the right to go out for a burger or whatever else without being e-mugged?

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