Credit Card Security

From John’s Desk

These days many people are concerned about the security of their credit cards.  While the concern is valid, often the measures they take to keep their cards safe actually expose them to greater risk.  The fact is, using a credit card to purchase online from a reputable, secure retailer is one of the safest transactions you can perform with your credit card, since information is kept behind several layers of encryption at all times and is not actually viewed by any person.  All reputable online retailers, including The Tea Table, also take specific measures to assure the person using a credit card is authorized.  If the buyer is not able to verify specific pieces of information about the account being used, the order does not ship and is not charged.  So, if we contact you for more information, be glad.  We are protecting you.

Fortunately, there are some very simple measures you can take to protect yourself.  In fact, the riskiest thing most people ever do with their credit card, they do without a second thought.  That is, handing it to to someone who takes it away to process a transaction, such as a waiter in a restaurant.  It is best to never hand your card over to anyone, which is one reason most large brick and mortar retailers now have systems where the buyer swipes their credit card themselves.  It is also much safer to enter your credit card on a secure website for purchases than to call it in by phone.

The final way to protect yourself is to keep a close eye on your credit card transactions.  In fact, it is not a bad idea to check it online every evening.  This is because when a fraudulent charge is placed, you will know right away without having to think back on a month worth of purchases and also because sometimes credit card thieves will process a small “trial” transaction of $1.00 or less to see if it goes through before placing a larger one.  Don’t expect to see a large fraudulent transaction though.  Credit card thieves are smart enough to know that small transactions are far less likely to be caught.  Rather than making large transactions, they do small ones, typically $10-$20 once a month on a large number of different cards, until the card expires or is cancelled.

John Rice
The Tea Table General Manager