The Jefferson Iowa News®



Why in the world do some consumers insist that they will not shop on the internet for fear of identity theft or credit card theft? A lot of people tell me "I don't want to shop online," but these very same people are quite comfortable giving their credit cards to a complete stranger at a restaurant who will then disappear, swipe the information, and bring them the bill!

These people are so totally frightened by the internet (which they obviously do not understand), that are oblivious to the multitude of safeguards which are in place to prevent most theft. None of these safeguards are in place at the restaurant!

It should be completely clear as a bell that it's in the companies' interests to make sure that your information is safe! Their reputations are riding on it!

One recent study tallied up the known causes of identity theft and found that internet purchases were related to less than 10% of them. Even that number can be reduced to nearly zero by doing two simple things. Make sure you are dealing with a secure site that encrypts information, and check your computer for spyware.

Now, nearly everyone has at one time or another had errors on their credit card bills, or even stolen cards or numbers. As I'm sure you discovered if you reported it in a timely fashion, this is not a big deal! Your liability is not more than $50 and usually zero!

In fact, when unusual purchases appear on your card, many times they will call you! Any one who thinks it is safer to go around town passing around your credit card than to use it on secure locations online is an idiot!

Virtually all of the major shopping venues will offer the exact same merchandise online at a reduced price. This is a real no-brainer! Try using your computer for something other than sending jokes to people you knew five years ago!

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Orville K. Bass, American

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