Is Your Credit Card Safe Online?
If I estimated how many times I heard someone say they were not comfortable with using their credit card online to purchase an item, it would be well over 200 times. And, you are smart to be concerned about credit card theft. Not only Online but Offline as well. And, would you believe me if I told you that using your credit card online, on a “secure site”, is much more safe than using your credit card at your local restaurant, gas station or even post office. Why? Because when you hand someone your card there is always the risk of human fraud. A waitress or a store cashier could always copy or remember your number and expiration date.
However, when you input your credit card number on a “secure web site” your card number is encrypted using a technology called Secure Socket layer (SSL). It is a bit technical but in a nutshell it takes your credit card number and hashes (or scrambles) it into millions of cryptic characters making it virtually impossible for someone to capture your credit card number. Not even the web site you make a purchase on can see the credit card numbers.
So, your next question may be , “how do I know if a web site is secure or equipped with SSL?”. If you look on the home page of most reputable web site shopping carts, you should see a logo that identifies that website as “SSL Secured”. For example, if you look in the lower bottom left of our website, we are SSL certified by Go Daddy one of the most reputable and well known SSL providers (see image below). You will even see the logo actively rotating our web site address to confirm it is currently secure. Also, you can click on the logo and it will bring up a window that describes the SSL certificate and it’s expiration date. For example, our certificate is good until August 2012. Hence, in August 2012 we will apply for and generate a new SSL certificate with Go Daddy..
I hope this tip helps you stay safe online wherever you may use your credit card to shop.