ACS allows you to pay for purchases online by using your MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club, and American Express credit cards. Because some customers have concerns about providing their credit card numbers over the Internet, we have provided some answers to common questions.
We believe that it is safe to provide your credit card account number over the Internet. All transfer of your payment information, including credit card handling, is done through a secure server using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. This allows your browser to encode any data it sends to our server, so that even if someone intercepted your information as it traveled across the Internet they wouldn't be able to read it.
We have a "server certificate" issued to us by VeriSign, the SSL certificate authority on the Internet. They are a trusted third party authenticator. This certificate verifies that you are really sending your credit card number to us, and not someone pretending to be us. It is standard SSL procedure to get a certificate, usually from VeriSign.
In the unlikely event that unauthorized use of your credit card occurs, follow the reporting procedures that your credit card provider has set up and contact us immediately by phone (800-227-5558), fax (202-776-8258), or e-mail. Federal law limits your responsibility for unauthorized charges to U.S. $50.00 (the maximum liability allowed under the Fair Credit Billing Act. For more information on the Fair Credit Billing Act, visit the Federal Trade Commission Website).
When you buy something on the Internet, look for three things:
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), the industry-standard security protocol that the ACS web site uses to communicate with secure browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer, takes care of the first two items. When communicating with a secure server like ours, these browsers encrypt the information you send in a way that is extremely difficult for anyone else to decode. If you are not sure whether your browser supports secure transactions, don't worry. If it doesn't, you won't be able to complete the transaction. You should also look for a visual image that indicates a secure site (see below).
Once your order is received, we take care to keep your information confidential in the same ways that we as consumers want our information secured.
There are several ways to confirm that you're in a secure area. All SSL-capable browsers have a symbol to indicate the secure mode (see below).
||Insecure mode symbol (normal operating mode)||Secure mode symbol|
|Google Chrome||Look for a green lock icon to the left of the site’s URL in the address bar.|
|Microsoft Internet Explorer||In Internet Explorer 5+, you will see a lock icon in the Security Status bar. The Security Status bar is located on the right side of the Address bar.||None|
|Firefox||Look for a lock icon in the Location bar to the left of the web address. *|
|Safari||With Safari 5+, a lock icon appears near the top right corner if all of the webpage's content uses a secure connection. In Safari 4 or earlier, the lock icon appears if any part of a webpage's content uses a secure connection.||None|
|Opera||Look for a lock icon to the left of the site’s URL in the address bar.|
* A gray lock indicates the website's address has been verified. A green lock indicates the website's address has been verified using an Extended Validation (EV) certificate. Both icons indicate a secure connection.
You can also tell when you're in a secure area because the URL to the left of the colon changes from "http" to "https" to signify that a SSL protocol is being used to communicate with the server. (http means HyperText Transport Protocol; https means HTTP with SSL.) In most browsers, you'll also see a solid blue line in the upper portion of the browser's window. This additional visual cue tells you that you are browsing a secure area.
One additional note: Some browsers give you a warning when you go from a secure area to a regular area. The aim is worthy enough—to ensure that people know when they've left a secure server. But in practice, the message is often a bit startling, and makes it look like you've done something wrong even though you really haven't.
Most of the activity on our site involves the viewing of materials we've prepared and made accessible to everyone, so there's no need for these pages to be "secure". With a product page or a help page, for example, there is no security risk because no confidential information is being exchanged. Anyone can access the same pages by pointing their browser to the ACS web site.
The part of the ACS web site that has extra security is the checkout area. This is where you actually purchase services from our site. The entire checkout process takes place in a secure environment.
Certainly! You may contact us by phone Monday through Friday (except holidays) during business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) or by fax with your credit card information. You may also contact us by e-mail but please do not include your credit card information in the message; we will call you to complete the transaction.
Please remember that you play a valuable part in security as well. Your password to access your account should never be shared with anyone and should be changed frequently. After you are finished using our site, you should log off and exit your browser so no unauthorized persons can use the site with your name and your ACS web site account information. Furthermore, if you provide any information to parties who operate Websites that are linked to or from our site, different rules may apply to their collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information. We encourage you to review these sites' policies before revealing any sensitive or personal information.
If you have any additional questions don't hesitate to contact us by phone (800-227-5558), fax (202-776-8258), or e-mail.