There was a time not too many years ago when Internet security was questionable, and few of us would be prepared to disclose our personal details to anyone online. Nowadays however, with encrypted connections, which means that the data you send is scrambled from the time it leaves your computer to the time it arrives at the recipient address, we are able to pass information across the Internet in an extremely safe manner. Yet there are still some consumers that worry about applying for a credit card online and would feel safer in applying offline.
The benefits of applying for a credit card online over offline methods are many and varied, and it is now widely accepted that it is much safer to apply online than off. Applying offline will typically involve sending your application through the post or applying over the phone. If you send in a written application or call to apply over the phone, you’re giving an individual employee your information because they have to enter it into their system for you. Whereas when you make your application online, the chances are that system will be automated with more of a hands-off approach, which should lessen the worry that someone could write down your information for unauthorized use later.
Applying for a credit card online is perfectly safe as long as you make sure you are entering your information into an encrypted area. You can tell whether an application page is secure or not in two ways. Firstly, look for a padlock icon in your Internet browser window, which will typically be displayed at the bottom of the browser or in the address bar at the top. You should also notice that the URL or address in the address bar begins with the “https://” protocol instead of the common “http://”. The extra “s” is telling you that the page is secure.
You should never assume that the Internet is somewhat less secure than when working personally with a bank representative. While there are obviously going to be risks involved no matter how you apply, especially when you’re talking about fraud and handing over your personal details, applying for a credit card online might just prove to be the safer option. At any rate, don’t forget to compare the various credit card offers carefully before making your application. Be sure you are working with a reputable bank rather than an outfit you’ve never heard of. That simple rule alone can protect you no matter how you choose to make your application for your new credit card.