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Internet security

Posted by DMG-194481 - Created: 15 years ago
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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 15 years ago

I am not a computer expert by any means,  but I've been told that the risk of using your credit card on a (reputable) web site is negligible compared to the risk when you use it in a restaurant,  especially when they take it away from you, even momentarily,  as that is when it can be 'skimmed'.


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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 15 years ago

The chances of having an otherwise undetected spyware lurking on your PC that did this sophisticated snooping are pretty small.   However it is possible.  And it has absolutely nothing to do with whether the web site is a secure site or not.  Like I said earlier a "secure site" is secure against interception BETWEEN your PC and the site.  Spyware (typically marketing oriented) operates WITHIN your PC and reports findings back to its control centre via its own channels.

I didn't mean to sound alarmist-just wanted to point out the misunderstanding between SSL and spyware. In answer to your question, I would say that the risk of using your credit card is acceptable.  If you are still worried, ensure that your PC is as clean as possible.  Run Windows Update, install a decent commercial virus scanner and adware/spyware eliminator. 

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Posted by DMG-194481 - 15 years ago

So Legend what are you saying? That any time I submit details even on a secure site, there might be spy ware that can pick this up. Now what.... no more internet shopping? The only save way is not to use your credit card or is it still worth taking the risk?

Thanks for replying.

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 15 years ago

Apart from the tortuous English of their reply, the technical explanation is more or less sound.

However, that has nothing to do with mitigating the risk of spyware.  SSL secured transmission just means that your sensitive personal information cannot be decrypted even if it is intercepted when transiting the Internet between your PC browser and the receiving service.

If you have spyware on your PC, then it can do pretty much whatever it likes depnding on how smartly designed it is.  This would include trapping every single keystroke you enter on your browser, every entry on every web page, making a private copy and sending it off via some other channel.  I'm not suggesting there is any spyware that does do that as it would be a very smart piece of work to be certain.  I'm just making sure you don't confuse the fact that because you have SSL established, that you are impervious to spyware - this is not the case.