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Carol's Western Wear takes several setps to ensure the security and privacy of our customer information. Chief among them is the use of a GeoTrust 128bit certificate to completely encrypt all e-commerce traffic between your computer and our server. While, like almost every other shopping site, the browsing of our products is not encrypted, any activity associated with the checkout process is fully secure. You can tell when your data is being encrypted by noticing the address of the website. When the "http://" becomes "https://" you'll know that your browser and our server are encrypting the data between them. Internet Explorer users will see a locked padlock either on the bottom of the screen, or just to the right of the address bar, depending on the version of IE. Mozilla Firefox users will see that padlock at the bottom right corner of their browser window.

Another key security step is that your credit card information is never stored on our severs. This information is encrypted and passed through to the credit card authorization centers, who return to us either an approval or rejection of the sale. The fact that we don't keep your data is quite important, as a hacker is far more likely to target a database of credit card information instead of trying to capture your data as you type it in or send it to our site. The targeting of your keystrokes is what many people worry about while shopping online, and is a very unlikely method of having your credit card data stolen. Your credit card information is far more likely to be stolen by a co-worker or a waiter than it is while shopping online.

Can't people hack anything nowadays?

The algorithm used to encrypt the data has been around a long time, and has proven itself to be secure. The key size, at 128bits, provides so many possible solutions (2^128) a 'brute force' attack using a billion computers each trying a billion possible solutions each second would have a 50/50 chance of de-crypting your traffic within 5,395 billion years, give or take a few hundred billion. Even if it were possible to do within the next 10 years, it would be analogous to someone offering a perfectly accurate weather forecast for the next 3 days, but they won't have it ready for 7 days. The information may be accurate, but it certainly isn't timely. The only threats to the security of your personal data would be the invention of the Quantum computer, which isn't likely to happen soon.

How can I tell when I am in a secure area?

If you look at the top of your browser you'll see the web address of the site you are currently on. When secure, the web address will begin with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://. Additionally, if you look at the bottom of your browser window you should see a locked padlock. IE7 users need to look to the right of the address bar.

What can I do to be more secure?

An up to date anti-virus program is a must, and we highly recommend Avast software. It is free for home users, and quite reasonably priced for businesses. Once your system is known to be free of viruses, personal information can be further protected by only doing business online with businesses you trust. If you're not sure, give us a call and talk to a live person. 1-888-CAROLS1


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