If you have ever shopped online or done anything secure on your web browser you might have noticed the little yellow key or lock that appears on your web site. This symbol means that data between your web browser and the web server are encrypted. Of course it is not a perfect solution, but one piece of a security layer. If YOUR BUSINESS is doing anything that requires security (ecommerce, financial transactions or etc) having an SSL enabled web server is a must.
Small Business Computing has a good overview of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and writes Since its introduction in 1994, SSL has been the de facto standard for e-commerce transaction security and is likely to remain so into the future.
SSL is all about encryption. SSL encrypts data, like credit cards numbers (as well other personally identifiable information), which prevents the “bad guys” from stealing it for malicious intent. You know that you’re on an SSL protected page when the URL address begins with “https” and there’s a padlock icon at the bottom of the page (and, in the case of Mozilla’s Firefox, in the address bar as well).
Your browser encrypts the data and sends it to the receiving Web site using either 40-bit or 128-bit encryption. However, your browser alone cannot secure the whole transaction, and that’s why it’s incumbent upon e-commerce site owners to do their part. Read the full article here
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