The internet has made so many aspects of life very convenient: banking, shopping and communicating online have saved people hours of time. Searching for information has never been faster or easier since the advent of the printed word. But many people still hesitate to do any financial transactions online because they simply don’t trust it.
Everybody knows someone who has never purchased online because they feel the internet is full of thieves, hackers and unethical people. The truth is there are just as many thieves, hackers and unethical people in the offline world trying to access credit card numbers, banking information and other sensitive data.
While it is true that commerce sites have been hacked and personal data has been compromised, the fact is that these incidents are relatively rare. Dramatic events make the news, but they only represent a small percentage of the tens of millions of daily internet transactions.
Sending credit card numbers over an encrypted connection is far safer than using them in a brick-and-mortar store. An encrypted connection hides the information from human eyes. A credit card or paper check is exposed to more people when it is presented in a store or a bank, or even over the phone. People may not trust the internet, but they don’t hesitate to trust store clerks, telephone operators, and other total strangers.
Unscrupulous people are everywhere, and thieves have been around a lot longer than the internet. Internet banks, vendors and government agencies do not want their data compromised any more than the consumer does, and they go to great lengths to keep their sites secure. Online transactions are every bit as safe, if not safer, than buying or banking in person. As long as people are careful about where they enter their information, they should feel confident that online transactions are a safe way to do business.