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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SSL and Online Security



It's been quite awhile since I did a Tech Tuesday post so this week I am making sure I get something posted. ;)

I still owe some people on special character tips and I promise to make a quick post on them this week as well. For this week I'd love to talk about online security in the most plain and simple words.

As most of my friends know and also my readers here, I love online shopping. And why not...it is convenient and very easy to do...plus the fact that I get to have access to online sales. Yet I still have some friends who are a bit apprehensive in using there credit/ debit cards online. They are just too scared of fraud! Ha!

Guess what...I've been using my account details over the net for about 10 years now and I have not encountered fraud...not that I wish for it. LOL

So this week I will share with you some computer terms and it's definition...and as I mentioned above it has something to do with online security. The WORD we will get to know this week is--

SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layers.

The IT Guy for sure can give us a more passionate and intense discussion but well, since I am no expert as he is let me just share to you my understanding of the term and how it works and thus why I feel secure using my credit cards online.

SSL is what makes a site secure. And that is so because...

When you go to a site with a secure server it communicates with your browser (IE or FireFox) for a time, usually just for a few seconds. And while doing that, it sends your browser an encrypted information that only that server and your browser can read.

Once this encryption is set, it acts like the usual web page, except that all information coming or going is encrypted which makes it extremely difficult for any third party who would intercept the transaction to decipher it. (All this extra protection explains secure servers seem to run slower than other unsecured counterparts.)

However, secure connections only protect the information as its coming and going, not when it's just sitting on the server. Thus, the only risk we run into is the probability that somebody having access to information stored in the server will copy our credit information and use them over them. Yet with the onset of so many financial standards this risk has been well managed. One example is banks now usually give us a call every time we enter an online transaction especially if we have not made any transaction with that company yet.

You can tell a secure site by the first part of its web address. If it starts with https:// rather than http:// it's a secure site.

So anyone of you still apprehensive of doing an online transaction?! ;)

1 comment:

Thom said...

Great tip yet again :)