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When shopping online, you want to make sure your private information is kept secure by the sites you use. All legitimate online stores will use secure technology such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or SET (Secure Electronic Transmission) to encrypt your personal information such as your credit card or other payment information during the checkout process. These security layers prevent hackers from accessing your information during the payment process so your data stays safe.
- When shopping online, only shop at sites that use these types of security measures to encrypt the checkout process. If a website doesn’t use this technology, do not shop there as your data could easily be stolen without you even knowing it.
- To check and see if a website uses SSL, look for “https” in the address. The addition of the “s” after “http” indicates that the site is secure.
- Another way you can check is to look for the lock icon in the status bar of your web browser or look for a closed lock icon or something similar depending on the browser you use in the address bar.
- Never send your credit card or any other personal information by email as it is always unsecure.
- Never give out any of this information online through a chat window even if the person claims to be a representative of the shop you are currently visiting and purchasing from.
- If you are still unsure if the site you are shopping at is secure, browse through their policies and look for information concerning secure transactions. If you cannot find any information, call customer service to verify the site is secure before you make a purchase.
Ensuring your personal information and payment information is ultimately your responsibility. That is why it is important to only shop at online stores that employ some type of security measures during the checkout process. If you don’t you could be putting yourself at risk of becoming the victim of credit card fraud or even identity theft. Remember to only shop at online stores that use SSL to encrypt their transactions so you can rest easy knowing your personal information remains safe at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is https really secure?
Yes it is. When sites use this type of encryption, your data cannot be read online by anyone else unless they already have access to your account.
What information does it protect?
This depends on the site where you shop, but in most cases it will protect the entire shopping process and especially the actually transaction when you enter your personal information and credit card number.
I have shopped at a site without https and have never had a problem so why worry about it?
Just because you have been lucky before doesn’t mean your luck will hold. If you shop at a site that doesn’t use SSL for security you are placing yourself at risk.
What if my personal information gets stolen?
While thefts under the protection of SSL are rare, if hackers acquire your personal information or usernames and passwords they could steal your information. If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft or credit card theft, notify the authorities and your banks and credit card companies immediately.