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Q&A

Q1:I've heard that it's dangerous to send credit card numbers over the Internet. Can't thieves intercept form data on its way to me?
A1: It is possible to intercept form data (and any Web pages or email) as it travels through the Internet. If you ask for credit card numbers or other sensitive information on your forms, you should ask the company who runs your Web server about "secure" forms processing. There are several reliable technologies for eliminating the risk of high-tech eavesdroppers, but it may cost you quite a bit to implement the security measures.

To put the amount of risk in perspective, remember that it is much more difficult to intercept information traveling through the Internet than it is to look over someone's shoulder in a restaurant or retail store.

Q2:I'm not set up to take credit cards or electronic payments. How do I make an order form for people to print out on paper and mail to me with a check?
A2: Any form can be printed out. Just leave off the Submit button if you don't want any email submissions; instead, instruct people to fill out the form and select File, Print. Remember to include a link to some other page so they can return to the rest of your Web site after printing the form—and don't forget to tell them where they should send the check!
Q3:Can I put forms on a CD-ROM, or do they have to be on the Internet?
A3: You can put a form anywhere you can put a Web page. If it's on a disk or CD-ROM instead of a Web server, it can be filled out by people whether they are connected to the Internet or not. Of course, they must be connected to the Internet (or your local intranet) when they click the Submit button, or the information won't get to you.
Q4:I've seen sites on the Internet that use pick-lists to link between multiple pages, kind of like a navigation menu. How do they do that?
A4: All things are possible if you have a professional programmer to write custom scripts for you. Even if you don't, you can find some sample prewritten scripts for this sort of thing on the Internet (search under CGI Scripts in any major search engine, such as http://www.yahoo.com). Even after you locate a prewritten script, however, you may still need some assistance installing it and getting it to work properly on your Web server.


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