This issue is becoming a bit of a bugbear and its clear that some people have got entirely the wrong end of the stick. The conversation goes like this…….
“I’ve phoned you with my order because I don’t want to use my card on the internet. Its not secure”
Well I am sorry but if you’re paying by card then its going on the internet! Why?
If you order online at our website then you’ll see a form like this. You fill it in with all your name and address details and then press “Place Order” and at that point my website shunts over to Barclays website where they have top level security and its their system that takes your card details. This is secure as it gets.
Barclays send me a `token’ which is basically saying they’ve checked you’re good for the money and that I am OK to pack and ship your order. When I have done so I process that token, again on their website and again I don’t see your card details. At this point they actually take the money from your card and, eventually, send it to my bank account. All this is done on the internet.
If you phone me with an order here is what happens. You probably catch me away from the PC or without the PC turned on so your order and card details get written down. When next at the computer I fire up the internet and log on to Barclays Web Terminal and enter all those details just written down. I do it on a form that looks like the one to the right.
I am entering all the same details you could be typing in and doing it on, effectively, the same form you could have used and its all done on the internet
First of all the card reader is talking to my phone via Bluetooth which is a short range radio protocol.
Next up my phone is connecting to the outside world via WiFi which is a longer range radio protocol and is now often provided freely at venues but I also have my own WiFi unit that connects to the mobile phone signal.
After all of that the connection is made to the bank via the internet
There is no escape. Even if you think, “I’ll use cash! That’ll show them”, you’re out of luck as the cash machine checks with your bank to see if you’re good for the cash via the internet
So I guess what I am saying is that ordering online is at least as safe as any other method and probably safer. There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Firstly only go to the payments page via the website you are shopping on.
- Don’t go to any payments pages sent in e-mails from people you don’t know
- Check in the address bar at the top of the payments page that the address start https:// [the S is the important bit as it denotes a secure connection]
I could probably have used bigger and more technically accurate words and left you bemused in the process but I think that is a reasonable layman’s description