Credit Card Information

If you are using Netscape 1.0 as your www browser, then your transactions are fully encrypted and secure when you shop at FairBrothers. This is true unless you are using a relay or proxy; you should check the door key icon at the lower left corner of your browser screen. If it is dark blue and whole, your network link is secure; if it is faded blue and broken in two parts, the link is not secure.

Much has been written about the perils of sending your credit card information over the Internet. As our business depends on maintaining good relationships with both our customers and the credit card companies we are particularly concerned with this issue.

Sending your credit card over the net is rather like giving it to a mail order company over the phone. The people at the phone company could, if so inclined, listen to it. It happens that the backbone of the internet is run by major phone companies such as Sprint, MCI and reputable private network providors such as BBN and Alternet. These companies, like FairBrothers, have strict internal security procedures. The network backbone provided by these companies is as confidential as a traditional telephone line.

The most vulnerable points to interception are the local networks at each end of a connection. Unlike the point to point nature of the backbone network most local nets are broadcast, that is all machines on the local net could, if so programmed, hear packets to all local machines. This makes the local endpoints the most vulnerable to data interception. In particular, if a thief can gain control of one machine on the local net all traffic to all local machines may be read. The risk therefore is highly correlated with the level of security on your local area network.

FairBrothers takes steps to ensure it's network privacy however we have no control over your local network. In general corporate networks have a reasonable level of security, however University and public access systems may not be as secure and therefore we do not recommend you transmit credit card numbers from these systems.

There are a number of entities and companies developing products to improve the security surrounding transactions on the Internet. FairBrothers is supportive of these efforts and intends to implement these products and procedures as they become available.

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    Page Author: Jim Fairbrother

    Last Updated 28-AUG-95