This year, a number of retailers have discovered unfortunate holes in their credit card payment software that have allowed for significant data breaches. On this blog, we've written about how Kmart found malware in its systems, or how Staples believes some of its confidential credit and debit card information has been compromised. 

These incidents have shaken consumer confidence in their ability to safely use their credit and debit cards while shopping. Recently, Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted a survey of 865 Americans revealed that nearly half are likely to avoid stores that are known to have been hit by data breaches.

"Your initial response is fear," David Just, professor of applied economics management at Cornell University, told CreditCards.com. "You feel like you've been violated. You don't know what's going to happen to your credit."

This response is particularly true among those in middle-and low-income households, who do not feel they have the necessary protections in place to avoid theft, Just added.

So why do these incidents keep happening? A recent article in The Washington Post theorized that criminals are simply better at staying one step ahead of retailers. Experts warn that criminals will continue to invest in malware that specifically targets the retail industry, as they understand that potential returns are still high.

The only way retailers can counter this and win over the confidence of their customers is by investing in the safest point of sale credit card processing systems. These can detect malware and allow retailers to take action before it is too late.