Even though I have lurked for a long time, I just now paid up for the first time. After my CC details went through I realized that I have no real idea how secure this site is - I’ve never haerd anyone mention anything on the boards, but have there ever been any problems arising from CC use to register here? I realize the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, but should I be concerned?
The Straight Dope messageboard is owned by Chicago Reader, Inc., a free weekly newspaper in the Chicago area. The Chicago Reader has been published since 1971, so it is not a fly-by-night operation. I have never heard of anyone having a problem.
Okay, cool. I pretty much thought it must be secure, or you all are keeping up quite a front by not ever complaining about it. But usually I check into my online purchases much more!
Welcome to the Board, **Meyer6 **.
As you can see, I am a Charter Member. I do not have a Paypal account, so I pay by credit card.
The charge shows up as being paid to “Chicago Reader” and I’ve had no problems whatsoever.
Be not afraid.
And thanks to all of you for putting my fears to rest.
This is complete hearsay, and I’m posting it more to be critiqued by The Teeming Millions™ than to say it’s fact…
When you send CC info over the 'net, it’s encrypted. 32-bit encryption, I believe. Encryption that the CIA can barely break, and then only if they really wanted to take the time. That info is a lot safer than simply someone hacking past your firewall and reading your hard drive.
In case you were wondering, the moderation staff does not have any connection to the CC/Paypal info. All that is taken care of at the Reader.
So, do you think that most online use of credit cards is safe then? I’ve always been pretty wary of using my CC online, but I’ll happily plunk it down at gas stations and restaraunts. I’ve always wondered if this is rediculous (it probably is).
If you are dealing with well known retailers, like Amazon, or LL Bean or other national company, I wouldn’t hesitate to use my card. But if you google something at Louie’s House of Bargains, I would be wary of giving them my card number.
Oh yes, you’d never find any of us complain about anything, nevernevernever
And welcome to the board.
Frankly, your credit card is quite a lot more likely to get stolen at a gas station or restaurant. On the net, you’re basically doing business with the computer system of the company you’re dealing with–if you trust the company, chances are, they’ve got decent security in place to keep that info from being stolen. The people who could really wreak havoc on the system are decently well paid programmer types. All bets are off with CrazyWillysBargain-o-porium.com, naturally, but big, well known retailers are gonna be pretty safe.
In the real world, on the other hand, you’re dealing with whichever shmuck Esso could rope into working the Midnight to 8AM shift for $5 an hour.
Damn, I’m going to have to stop buying stuff from CrazyWillysBargain-o-porium.com!?
This is undoubtedly the case.
On the other hand, the Administrative Staff seems to have been splurging lately on garden gnomes, soft ice cream machines, Godiva Choco-Fountains for dipping strawberries into and a 16th Century fine quality printing of The Orlando Furioso replete with woodcarvings. for the office…
So, no worries. Your credit card’s perfectly safe with us.
Seriously, welcome to The Straight Dope. Not only do I use my credit card to re-up my [del]all-consuming SDMB addiction[/del] yearly membership, but I have on three different occasions purchased items from The Straight Dope Store. No worries.
In a more serious vein, this is quite true. I was doing Internet business for a few years and the incredibly difficult time I had with my bank and my small business account becoming an accredited ( pun intended ) Small Merchant with a Virtual Terminal so I could accept credit card orders by voice or email and submit them to the Big Three for payment was serious.
Louie’s House Of Bargains might or might not have passed muster. I, OTOH, did. ( This was with J.P. Morgan Chase. No slouches, those guys. The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. started in 1798 and JP Morgan, well. We all know how tight HE was with a penny. ).
And there’s the rub. Your cc info isn’t going to be stolen, transmitting it over the web. But eventually some minimum wage shlub at a call center in Topeka or Bombay is going to get it to fill your order…
I don’t know that a poorly paid worker is actually viewing your entire credit card data stream. You know, when you place an order in the typical Checkout scenario, most of the credit card info is XXXXXX’ed out with the last 4 digits showing. Other info is XXXX’ed out as well.
I would WAG that the poorly paid workers do not have access to the full data stream.
If you hand them your card, they do. And in some transactions (which nobody ever worries about), you’ll hand your card to the employee, at which point the employee takes the card into another room before bringing it back. Not too hard to jot down the number (and the “security code” that “proves” that you have the card itself in your posession) before bringing it back.
My apologies. I was referring to what if6was9 said- poorly paid employees at a remote location with zero access to your complete credit card.
Sorry that was not more clear.
Just proves that your cc is safer online than if you give it to the guy at the gas pumps or your local Wal*Mart…