It is really hard to imagine today, but there was time when nobody would willingly shop online as they considered it to be unsafe in terms of using their credit card and divulging their private information. Today, shopping online is almost second nature to most people with an internet connection, but it still pays to be prudent when it comes to online safety.Unfortunately there are many sites and many unscrupulous people that will stoop to anything to steal your valuable information by using a variety of tricks and methods. There are some tricks and tips that a consumer can use though to make sure their online payments go through safely and securely.When people visit a site and see a padlock in the browser window or address bar, they automatically assume the site is safe to continue with their transaction or sending of details. This is actually a misconception because all the padlock sign means is that you have connected to the site in a secure manner via a secure connection; it doesnt actually mean the site is safe or doesnt have any dark, ulterior motives.Nevertheless, if the site you are on is trusted by you, or is well known, then you can be secure in the knowledge that the information passing between you and them is encrypted and therefore safe from prying eyes. To be doubly sure, click the padlock sign, which should then come up with the name of the company securing the site. Be sure it is a name you can trust.Some other pointers include looking for an https in the address bar; if you have a new browser secure sites are color coded green or blue is good to go, red means get out of there; use a trusted payment gateway such as SecurePay.Today, nearly all major online businesses use a trusted source to validate their website. Examples of these trusted sources are VeriSign, RapidSSL and GeoTrust, but there are many more. The bottom line is, though, if you are ever in any doubt whatsoever regarding an online payment of any description, do not go through with the transaction. Although things have become much better today as opposed to just a few short years ago in terms of online information protection, the system is still far from being classed as foolproof.Because of fraudulent sites online, credit card fees have a tendency to rise dramatically to cover any bad transactions. Indirectly everyone is paying for this dishonesty, so it always pays to check out the safeguards put in place and be vigilant. For every fraudulent site you safe yourself from, you are indirectly doing your bit to keep credit card fees down. Do not take any unnecessary chances when it comes to your credit card details and personal information, and remember, if in doubt, get the hell out of there!
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