Concerns About Ordering On-Line ?
"The reality is that shopping online is probably
less risky than using your card at a local merchant." - Internet
Shopper magazine, Spring 1997, p. 110.
Ordering on the Internet is a relatively new way of shopping and some
people worry about the safety of using their credit card numbers on the
web. We hope this page of frequently asked questions will address some
of the most common concerns about what we are doing to protect you.
How safe is ordering on-line?
Ordering on-line can be one of the safest ways to use your credit card
- especially on forms like ours that use a secure server and a secure order
- Your credit card number is never exposed through discarded credit card
receipts or carbons.
- Your credit card never leaves your possession, like it does in restaurants,
so you're in control of who has access to your credit card number.
- The transmission can't be picked up by "baby monitors" and
scanners, as it can with cordless and cellular phone calls.
- When using our main order form, your credit card number and other billing
information is fully encrypted. This means that even if someone were able
to intercept the transmission (which is very unlikely) all they would get
How common is credit card fraud on the Internet?
In the Washington Post's Fast Forward magazine (May 1996), a spokesmen
for MasterCard International and AT&T's Universal Card acknowledged
that to date, they knew of no cases of Internet credit card fraud.
However, on May 23, 1997, the New York Times reported that "a
computer cracker who broke into a San Diego Internet service provider's
computer and stole 100,000 credit card numbers has been nabbed. [He] was
arrested as he tried to peddle them to an undercover FBI agent for $260,000."
Statistically, it's much safer to use your credit card on the web than
to use it in a restaurant or department store. Even so, we still take every
possible precaution to protect the integrity of your credit card information.
What is a "secure" transaction on the Internet?
Most Internet site hosts (computers and their software) offer an additional
level of security for information entered by a visitor to their pages.
Normally, web pages that do not ask you to fill in information about yourself
have no need to be specially secured. Only pages that transmit information
that you supply, like our order form, take advantage of such security.
To test a site's added security, you will need to first link to a page
containing such a form.
Described below are the ways that you can tell if a form is specially
secured, depending on the browser software that you are using. If a page
does not contain added security, it simply means that you are either using
a browser which does not support this additional level of security transactions
or you are on a page which is not using a specially secured server.
How can I tell if my transmission has added security?
- Netscape Navigator: Look at the bottom left hand corner. You
will see a little key. If the key is solid and sitting on a blue background,
your transmissions are encrypted and secure. If you're key is broken, your
data is not sent via extra security.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer: Look at the lower right hand corner
of Explorer's window. You will see a small pad lock. If the lock is "locked"
(not open), your transmissions are specially encrypted and secured.
- Other Browsers: Check the documentation.
If I am still worried, are there alternate ways of ordering?
Yes. Here are alternatives to entering your complete credit card number
on our order form.