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Understanding Secure Commerce

What Are Secure Commerce Transactions?

More and more data is being exchanged over the Internet every day. Some of that data is financially sensitive (credit card numbers, bank transactions, stock purchase and sell orders, etc.) or may be private (trade secrets, confidential company information, medical records, etc.). Because of the ease of intercepting data on the Internet, many individuals are understandably cautious about releasing any such information in on-line transactions or data exchange.

Secure transactions can be used whenever sensitive information is exchanged over the Web. The most common type is credit card orders of merchandise being sold on Web sites. Users can identify when information is being entered in a secure environment on most browsers; the key at the bottom of the browser, which is usually seen with a break in the center, looks like it is all a single piece. For this type of transaction, some banks and credit agencies now offer special accounts for merchants taking Internet credit card orders.

Secure commerce capability allows users to transmit such sensitive data over the Internet with minimal worry. The entire transmission is encoded using "trap-door" cryptography algorithms that can not be simply run in reverse to extract data. Only the holder of the private decryption "key" can read the data. Even if the transmission is intercepted, it is useless without the key. While no encryption scheme is theoretically unbreakable, the likelihood of successful decryption is negligible even with the help of sophisticated computers.


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