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Web Security 101

Provide customers with peace of mind by letting them know your site is secure.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What makes transactions on e-commerce sites secure? Mostmerchants lease software to utilize secure sockets layer (SSL)created by Netscape. This technology safeguards information sentover the Web from the consumer's computer to your server.

SSL scrambles and encodes all confidential information so nothird party can steal it. You end up with the actual message,unscrambled. As a merchant, you have a security certificatethat's valid for a certain time period.

There are several ways to let your customers know they're ona secure e-commerce site:

  • A window opening on their browser saying, "You'reabout to enter a secure area"
  • A tiny padlock graphic on the bottom left corner of theirbrowser that's unlocked as they visit unsecured sites on theWeb and locks when they access a secure site
  • A broken gold key that becomes a solid key at a secure Website

Don't diminish the power of clearly and prominently statingthat your Web site is secure. If you're going to invest themoney for security, let your customers know about it.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl:A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books).She is currently working on her next book and new company.

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