How to Know a Website is Secure Before Using Your Credit Card Online

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I know people who are still scared of shopping online. They are afraid of giving out their credit card information over the web, fearing it could be stolen.

I had my credit card details stolen once. They charged over $500 worth of merchandise from a popular department store chain. Interestingly though, it was not through the web that my credit card details were stolen. It was stolen by a cashier from a drive-thru fast-food chain who snapped a photo of my credit card with his/her camera phone.

The truth is, there are risks wherever you go or whatever you do. It reminds me of people who are scared to fly because of the “many” plane crashes they see on the news — forgetting that more people die DAILY from automobile accidents and cigarette smoking than do airplane crashes.

I’ve been shopping online for several years now. I consider it relatively safe. You just have to know how and when to give out your credit card information when paying online, or any other private info, for that matter.

Here’s a simple way of knowing that a web page is secure before giving out your credit card details on that payment page:

If you’re using FIREFOX as your browser –

  • Look at the web address of the payment form where you input your details. If it starts with “https” (note the letter “s” at the end), then the site is secure.
  • Look on the right side of the browser where the web address is located. There should be a small image of a grey-colored padlock there. In addition, the padlock should be locked (the hooks connect). The page is secure.
  • On your browser window, look at the bottom right corner. There should be another picture of a padlock if the page is secure.

If you’re using INTERNET EXPLORER as your browser –

  • Look at the web address of the payment form where you input your details. If it starts with “https” (note the letter “s” at the end), then the site is secure.
  • Look on the right side of the browser where the web address is located. There should be a small image of a gold or orange padlock there. In addition, the padlock should be locked (the hooks connect). The page is secure.

There you go, you can feel safe shopping online now. As mentioned earlier, those are just the quick ways of determining whether a page is secure and encrypted, in which case, your data is safe.

Is it 100% fool-proof? Does that mean you will never have your details stolen online by looking at the signs above? Well, remember when I mentioned that everything in life is about risks? Nothing is ever 100% safe, as long as we live in this world! Whether you are online, or shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, you are surrounded with risks. That doesn’t mean you have to stop living, does it? Of course not!

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