It's just something we take for granted—the company that gives us a credit card will do everything possible to prevent and detect the fraudulent use of that card. But, it seems, that's not always the case.
A new report from Javelin Strategy & Research finds that financial institutions are doing a much better job than retailers when it comes to credit card security. The researchers looked at policies and procedures in place at 24 of the country's top credit card issuers to prevent and detect fraud as well as handle a problem when something bad happens.
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"Retailers, common targets for data breach crimes, scored the lowest in prevention and among the lowest overall," said Al Pascual, the senior analyst who co-authored the report.
The three retailers reviewed in this study placed the lowest in prevention: Cabela's (29 percent), Target (22 percent) and Nordstrom (18 percent). Pascual said these scores indicate "inattention" to factors that could help lower incidents of fraud.
"To be honest, it seems like security isn't a major priority for retailer-issued cards," he told me. "When you compare that to what we see with general purpose cards, there's a very clear disparity between the two. If you have one of these store-branded cards, you should be a bit more concerned about fraud."
(Read more: Seven signs you're a victim of identity theft)
CNBC contacted Cabela's, Target and Nordstrom for their response to the Javelin report.
In a statement, Nordstrom said: "We take seriously our responsibility to protect our customers' information and work hard to provide them with personal service that addresses their specific needs and concerns when situations arise. We always pay attention to feedback we receive in this area and constantly look for ways to make improvements where necessary because this is so important to us and our customers."
Nordstrom noted that the Javelin study does not address important back-end systems that are designed to provide security, systems the retailer believes are "incredibly important and oftentimes more effective" in preventing fraud and unauthorized access to customer information.
"Without that as part of the analysis, the report does not give customers a complete picture. That said, we continue to review our processes and systems to ensure that we're doing everything we can to take care of our customers and the trust they have in us," the company said in its statement.
CNBC did not hear back from Cabela's or Target.