How Secure is Your Transaction?

Lots of folks ask us why our transactions do not appear to be 'secure'. The answer is really quite simple. It is because the transaction is shown in a 'frame' in the browser and most current browser designerss can't figure out how to tell you that the frame is using Secure Socket Layer when the rest of the window is not. Rest assured that your actual transaction - the part with your credit card number in it - is running over an encrypted link using SSL. So it is actually more secure than it looks.

This means that your transaction is as secure as any other Internet-based purchase using SSL - but of course this is not really all that secure. On our site we don't ever see, save, store, or even get your credit card information. It is all handled by the credit card transaction company that processes the money. We like it that way. Since we never get your credit card number we can never have anything to do with its misuse.

In the US - assuming you use a credit card - your maximum liability is $50 for any sort of theft - this being guaranteeed by law. Many credit card companies have zero liability these days. If you use a debit card, someone who gets your information could use it to take everything in your bank account. We would advice against it. If you use other sorts of transaction mechanisms, they have different properties and we won't enumerate them here.

Finally we should note that the vast majority of credit card thefts over the Internet are done by breaking into credit card processors and those who hold the credit card information (we never get it) and by people who get ripped off by phoney product salespeople (we run a legitimate business and have for many years).

So to sum up: (1) even though it doesn't look like it, your transaction is encypted with SSL, (2) we never get your credit card number at all, (3) your maximum liability for theft of credit card information in the US is normally $50, and (4) the encryption doesn't make your credit card information all that safe in the first place - but it's better than nothing.