Credit Cards and the Internet
Statistically, it's much safer to send your credit card number over the Internet, even unencrypted, than to use it in a restaurant, store, service station, or when placing a catalog order over the telephone. Here's why:
In a restaurant, you give your credit card to your waiter or waitress and it disappears for five minutes or so, leaving ample opportunity for any number of restaurant personnel to record your name and card number or take an imprint of your card.
Most restaurants, stores and service stations "swipe" your credit card through a credit card authorization terminal which reads the magnetic stripe information, dials up the merchant's bank or service provider, transmits the information over the telephone, and receives an authorization. In almost all cases, this transaction is transmitted at 1200 or 2400 bps with no encryption, and is a great deal easier to intercept than an Internet transaction.
In contrast, an unencrypted transaction sent over the Internet is relatively difficult to intercept, because it is broken down into many small information "packets" which are merged with thousands of other such "packets" belonging to other users. It requires considerable technical sophistication to intercept a stream of Internet packets, identify those belonging to your particular transaction, and extract your credit card information. Very few credit card thieves have the knowledge or equipment required to do this. Thieves know that there are much easier ways to obtain credit card numbers...for example, picking up discarded credit card slips at a service station or putting a tape recorder on the phone line of a popular restaurant or store.
An encrypted Internet transaction (as provided by our secure server) is by far the safest possible way to use your credit card. It is virtually impossible for anyone to intercept your information as it passes over the Internet from your computer to our server (or vice versa).