A recently released study found that a whopping 38 percent of all credit card hacking cases in 2009 involved the hotel industry.
Hackers are believed to steal credit card information from hotels because many of them lack sufficient data security. Many hotels have systems which vary in sophistication level from one hotel to the next, even if the hotels are part of the same chain. Most of the security problems start with the credit card swiping systems. The industry has been struggling during the economic recession, and many hotel owners cut spending, including on security upgrades, which includes software, hardware, firewalls and ecryption programs.
Recently, both Destination Hotels and resorts, a luxury U.S. hotel chain, had 700 of its customers’ credit card numbers hacked. Wyndham Hotels also had hackers steal credit card information from as many as 31 of its hotels in a three month period.
Credit card companies have been urging hotels to adopt uniform security standards to guard against hacking. Credit card companies are typically the ones ultimately stuck with the charges.
In order to keep their information safe, travelers should check charges frequently after business trips. Frequent travelers who may not see printed statements monthly should check their charges online.