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Shopping Online Securely Shopping Online Securely

 Many people are hesitant to shop online for fear of identity and credit card theft. With technological advances like SSL, (Secure Socket Layer, designed by Netscape) and SET, shopping online has become much safer and secure. I have been shopping online for many years without experiencing any problems with security.

Most credit card companies back online purchases 100%. As you know, credit card companies don't like to take chances. You can find a very easy to understand and fun to read turorial of how the credit card process works at

Some Things You Should Know.

Email Security

You should never send payment information via e-mail. Information that travels over the Internet as regular electronic mail is not fully protected from being read by outside parties.

How do I know My Browser is secure?

When you click on a button or link to make a purchase, you are often taken to a shopping basket or checkout page. At the checkout page you will be directed to click on another button or link to enter your credit and shipping information.

 The credit and shipping page should load on a secure server. So how do I know it's secure, you ask? You can tell you are on a secure server by looking at the URL box at the top of your browser window. If you are in a secure environment your URL. Ex. "", will have changed to "". ("https" Hypertext Transmission Protocol Secure)

 Most Internet browsers will notify you that you are entering a secure server.
Some browsers inform you with a pop up window, others with security icons browser secure icon or a yellow highlighted URL. The pop up window security notification can be turned on and off in most browsers from the options menu.

Firefox shows a yellow background in the URL box and a closed padlock on the right side.
Firefox browser secure URL

Internet Explorer Version 6 with Service Pack 2, shows a yellow closed padlock in the lower right hand corner of the browser window.
Internet Explorer Version 6 secure icon

Netscape version 7.x also shows a closed padlock with a yellow background in the lower right hand corner of the browser window.
Netscape 7.x browser secure icon

Also your browser has safeguards in place to verify the security of a server so that a secure URL can not be faked. Your browser will also inform you if a server is NOT secure.

Not all websites use the exact procedure described above. When you reach the page that asks for your credit card information, look for the secure server URL https:, if your browser does not notify you with a pop up window that you are entering a secure server.


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