There is a lot of worry about credit card theft after hearing news this week of the 3 men who stole roughly 125 million credit card numbers. You may be thinking that doing business with a small company online is more risky than a big-box e-tailer like Amazon.com. Actually, at FaeriesDance.com it’s exactly the opposite!
First, let’s clarify risk. There are 2 main risks to your credit card information when shopping online. The first is that your card number is at risk during the time that it is in transit from the online store to the approving credit card bank. Transit times are generally less than 1 second total. FaeriesDance.com, like most online businesses, employees Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. We use a 256-bit industry-standard encryption that encodes your credit card number while it is transmitted from our site to the credit card approving bank. This is the same level of transmission encryption that most financial institutions use. The thing is, it’s really not worth it for a potential credit card thief to try to time their hack for that partial second and then spend weeks or months breaking the encryption code to get a single credit card number. While it makes good sense to encrypt the data, credit card data is rarely if ever lost this way.
The second risk is that a potential credit card thief will hack into an online store’s encrypted database to gain access to the credit card information of every person that store has ever done business with! Not only is this a big gain for the thief, but the databases exist permanently, so they have plenty of time to crack the encryption. This is the primary way that credit cards are compromised – and it happens to companies of all sizes.
In my infinite wisdom 😉 I realized when creating FaeriesDance.com that we would not likely have the resources to keep up with the constant barrage of database threats. So, we simply avoided them altogether. FaeriesDance.com does not store your credit card information anywhere, any time, in any database, EVER!
OK, so this means that if you accidentally put in the wrong expiration date and get a message back from the bank to that effect, you have to retype the card number. If you shop with us a lot, you don’t have the neat-o feature that allows you to just reuse the same card as last time – you have to retype the card number. If you type the card number and then decide to purchase something else, as soon as you click off the payment page to go back to the shopping cart, you wipe out the card number and again, have to retype it.
While all of this retyping can occasionally be annoying, the fact is, that it is by far the most secure system of obtaining credit card information online. You type it in, it’s instantly sent to the credit card approving company and never written to any database where it could be hacked. Your credit card information does not exist on our website, and therefore cannot be stolen from our website.
For those of you who are still concerned about using your credit card online, the best piece of advice I can give is to always check the “no” option when asked if you want your credit card number saved for future purchases. (We don’t ask – saving your credit card number is not an option at FaeriesDance.com.) This simple tip will go a long way in securing your card information when shopping online.