Is It Safe To Buy Online?
by: Jeremy Trogg
In short, the answer to that
question is that... it depends!
It depends on you the user and it
depends on whether the site that you are purchasing from uses proper
Bottom line, anything is
possible. In reality, there are all sorts of potential risks
where it comes to using plastic. If you pay for dinner at your
favorite restaurant, do you know that when the waiter disappears
with your credit card, that he/she hasn't copied your information
down for use later?
If you give your telephone number
out over the phone to purchase the latest gizmo offer that you saw
on television, do you know that someone isn't listening to your
conversation? Or do you know that the person on the other end of the
line isn't writing down your info for their own use?
In both cases (just to name a
couple) there is obvious risk, but in most cases, those risks are
pretty minimal. The same thing can be said for the Internet,
only there are fewer people that have contact with your credit card
information when you purchase on the Internet.
Encryption of your information
Proper encryption and secure servers are very common nowadays
and as long as you look to make sure that there is security showing
up in the bottom right side of your browser, you will probably be
To know if you are on a site where
the owners are using encryption, look down in the bottom right-hand
corner of both Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers. If you
see a closed padlock, the page is encrypted and you can fill in your
credit card information.
If you don't see the padlock, don't
Programs such as Microsoft wallet
are available to hold your credit card information on your computer
and make it faster for you to load your card information when and
where you need it.
Like anything else however, the
more your information is available, the more at risk it is likely to
be. If you store your information on your computer but don't
have a firewall, there is very little standing in the way of an
unknown person from getting on your computer and finding that
Likewise, if your computer were to
be stolen or used by an unknown party, they could make quick work
out of your credit information stored on your computer.
Bottom line, it doesn't take long
to pull out that credit card and type the numbers in. And just
that little bit of extra time can save you tons of time later when
compared to trying to straighten out your personal identity and
salvage your credit reputation.