We know security and privacy are very important to you, and that is why we are committed to protecting your sensitive personal and financial information at all times! All payment information entered through this web site is done so through a secure server with 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This technology “scrambles” the information so that it is only to be accessible by those that are authorized such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover, AmEx, PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.
What Is SSL and How Does It Work?
SSL (Secure Socket Layering) is a powerful industry standard encryption technology that prevents access to a customers credit card and personal information. It would take significantly longer than the age of the universe to crack a 128-bit key encryption!
SSL uses public-key encryption to exchange a session key between the client and server; this session key is used to encrypt the http transaction (both request and response). Each transaction uses a different session key so that even if someone did manage to decrypt a transaction, that would not mean that they would have found the server's secret key; if they wanted to decrypt another transaction, they'd need to spend as much time and effort on the second transaction as they did on the first. Of course, they would first have to have figured out some method of intercepting the transaction data in the first place, which is in itself extremely difficult. It would be significantly easier to tap your phone, or to intercept your mail to acquire your credit card number than to somehow intercept and decode 128-bit SSL.
When Is SSL Used?
The entire ordering process on How-To-Plans.com is conducted on a secure server using 128-bit SSL technology. The encryption starts from the time you decide to proceed to checkout until your order is confirmed and completed. Once you have completed your order online, our security procedures do not end. For example, the moment you press "submit" to send you order, the encrypted order is sent directly to our order processing system and your order is automatically pushed through the system and never "sits" in an unsecured queue.
How Do I Know When SSL Is Being Used?
There are a few different ways, some depending on what type of browser you are using (ie: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera).
1). In all browsers, look for the "http" in the URL to change to "https". This will be seen near the top in the browser address bar. The added "s" at the end, represents that you have entered a secure area.
2). In most browsers, a padlock icon (small picture) will appear somewhere on the screen when encryption is in use. The padlock will usually be at the bottom or the top of the screen.
THE LOCK ICON IS NOT JUST A PICTURE! Click (or double-click) on it to see details of the site's security.
3). You can also “right click” on a secure webpage to get security information. This is usually “Page Info” or “Page Properties” in the menu box that pops up after you right click on the page.
Are There Regulations To Insure That Websites Are Secure?
The major credit card issuers created PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards to protect personal information and ensure security when transactions are processed using a payment card. All members of the payment card industry (financial institutions, credit card companies and merchants) must comply with these standards if they want to accept credit cards. Failure to meet compliance standards can result in fines from credit card companies and banks and even the loss of the ability to process credit cards. See PCI Compliance for more info.