Is it safe to shop on the Internet?
When you shop on the Internet, you have the same concerns as you do when you use a catalogue to shop over the telephone.
Impersonation: Is the business that receives my order authentic?
Eaves-dropping: Could someone "listen in" to my order and steal my credit card number?
In the real world, you often give your credit card to cashiers or waiters, and you give out your account number over the phone when placing an order. Using your credit card number on the Internet is no more dangerous than these practices. In fact, it is often more secure to give out your account number over the Internet, because many sites work with your browser software to encode your transaction so if outside parties intercept it, they won't be able to read it.
It is important to keep up to date with the latest browsers.
To download the latest version of Internet Explorer click here.
Entropy utilises a technology called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is a set of rules followed by computers connected to the Internet.
These rules include: encryption, which guards against eavesdropping data integrity, which assures that your communications aren't tampered with during transmission and authentication, which verifies that the party actually receiving your communication is who it claims to be.
How Encryption Works
There are two levels of encryption: 40-bit and 128-bit. With 40-bit encryption, there are billions of possible keys to decipher the coded information, and only one of them works. Someone intercepting the information would have to find the right key - a nearly impossible task.
With 128-bit encryption, there are 300 billion trillion times as many keys as with 40-bit encryption. It is virtually impossible for an unauthorized party to find the right key, even if they are equipped with the best computers.
To Check A Site's Security Status:
Look at the site's URL in your browser window. If you see an "s" added to the familiar "http" (to make "https"), this indicates that SSL is in effect for the current page.
- In Netscape Navigator 3.0 and earlier, the broken key symbol in the lower-left corner of your browser window becomes solid when you are in secure mode.
- In Netscape Communicator 4.0 and 4.5, the padlock symbol in the corner, usually open, is closed in secure mode.
- In Internet Explorer 4.0, a closed padlock appears when you are in secure mode.
If you're about to send information to a site that's not using SSL, your browser will warn you first.
SSL protects your communications during transmission.
Because of the authentication involved, secure servers are slower than the regular server for delivering files. Therefore SSL is only used when transmitting sensitive information across the web.