NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many say a chip that makes counterfeiting nearly impossible is one of the best defenses against credit card fraud, but retail stores are not ready to implement the technology.

As CBS2’s Diane Macedo reported Wednesday, the technology continues to be delayed despite a wave of hacking attacks.

“Thieves and hackers have used this as a time when they actually hack into systems, because they’re hoping that people aren’t paying attention,” said Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of Credit.com.

That is why Levin said the holiday season is an especially important time for retailers to have the best data protection available. Right now, that is EMV technology, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

“Instead of having the data all on a stripe in the back of the credit card, the data’s actually contained in a chip on the credit card that will create a separate code for each transaction,” Levin said. “Plus, if it’s true Chip and PIN as opposed to chip and signature, you will actually have people entering a PIN code as well.

But most stores still don’t have the technology.

“My credit cards have the chip, but the retailers don’t have the chip in yet,” said Target customer Craig Rexford.

That includes retailers who had major data breaches in the past year.

Target and Home Depot have beefed up security in other ways, but said their chip card terminals won’t be ready to accept EMV cards until next year.

Kmart said only that it is “taking the necessary steps” to incorporate the technology, but gave no time estimate for when it will be available.

And despite reporting as many as 1.1 million cards may have been exposed in its data breach last year, Neiman Marcus said only, “We are not conducting any interviews on this topic.”

Interestingly enough, Walmart — which hasn’t had a customer data breach — is the only major retailer that does have an EMV system.

But the question remains as to how much customers care about data protection, and whether it will actually affect how they shop.

“It doesn’t affect where I go,” Rexford said, “and I just have to stay on top of my bills.”

“Stores that take precautions I think I’m going to shop at more,” said Home Depot customer Kristy Foss.

“At the end of the day, you say, ‘Well, let me just use cash, because this is not working for me,’” said Target customer Joe Green.

Levin said if you’re sticking to plastic, remember even the best technology isn’t foolproof. So you should always check your statements and alert your credit card companies if you see any unusual purchases, experts said.

Many banks and credit card companies also offer free services to alert you of each transaction on your card, so you can be alerted immediately of any purchases you don’t recognize.

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