Are Online Credit Card Applications Really Safe?

By: Anne

Very often you can hear the statement that applying online for a credit card is safe and fast. At the same time, it is common knowledge that cases of online identity theft are frequent enough to make people be afraid of it. Is it really dangerous to order plastics via Internet? Let us see how matters stand.
There are a wide range of web-sources where consumers can make an online credit card application: Credit-Land.com, RequestCredit.com and many other sites are known to provide assistance in credit card selection and quick redirection to the bank's official site. Credit card companies spend a lot of money on products promotion as well as providing credit card application security. Banks want to make people order cards via Internet. The reason is that it minimizes the cost of application processing: there are no extra personnel needed, as well as no expenditures on paper application forms.

The information you submit goes straight to the bank's database; that is why both the applicant and the creditor save a good deal of time.
To protect the personal and financial information you enter on the application page, SSL (secure sockets layer) protocol is used. It implies that the information is twice encrypted: when being submitted in the sending computer and being accepted by the receiving computer. This encryption method guarantees that your information will never be stolen if you submit it through the SSL protected web sites.
However, not every site is supplied with SSL protocol. There are some details to consider if you want to make a really secure online application.
1) The web page is stated to be secure or there is a name of SSL Certificate provider (Verisign, for example)
2) URL of a protected web-page usually begins with https:// (regular pages start with http://)
3) You can see a small lock in the right bottom corner of the screen
4) They ask you to register on a secure site
If you notice some or all of these features on a web site, you can be 100% your information is protected. So, you can choose the bank product for your credit situation and needs and indicate your personal information like address, annual income, social security number etc in the application form provided.
In case you do not see any of the above mentioned signs of security, or the site just seems shady, leave it and go to a reliable web source. One should also be careful with credit card offers coming by e-mail. E-mail is very vulnerable, and there is a great possibility that you will receive malicious mail (become a victim of phishing). Plus, it is required that you should have your computer protected with anti-virus programs.

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