In the past, before the era of Internet and fast communication, when the banks and various authorities had total control of all banking services, it was impossible to do anything without the banks. Subsequently a cartel of banks was formed. It manifested in very high commissions for all services provided, starting from any ordinary transaction any person performs in the account to international payments that any person wants to make between accounts worldwide.
This situation continues to date despite the increasing competition in some of the services that previously were the managed exclusively by the banks.
Following the tremendous technological development that occurred in recent decades concerning computing as well as the Internet in general and satellite communication and optic fibers in particular, a simple option was created, an option that is convenient, easy and enables performing many actions that were impossible in the past due to the luck of technological means without these measures.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing fields in past years. Websites such as Ebay and Alibaba became the largest retail companies worldwide. In addition there has been much development in the global international payments field and an increasing number of companies are participating in this field. The huge advantage these companies have over the banks is that they offer significantly lower commission fees as well as time not wasted waiting in line. Their advantage is enabled by using the Internet to perform all actions.
Along with the increasing development in online trading and online money transfers the risks of Internet use has increased.
Concerns regarding hackers in cyberspace have become substantial and widespread. These threats are divided into two main groups performing various types of crime. The first group is composed of threats by hacker groups that are of political nature and the attacks they perform are aimed against government websites or private websites that have an ideology that they oppose to. These attacks are carried out mainly by preventing service distribution (ddos), which causes slow access to the website and may prevent access, or by hacking the website and corrupting it. The second group is made of threats posed by criminal hackers and other various groups that engage in criminal activity such as theft of various data, business data, secret information, and especially credit cards details. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in websites offering e-commerce options such international payments via the Internet.
Although the above mentioned concerns of theft and fraud while performing actions via the Internet are natural and understandable, a number of efficient mechanisms for safe online usage were developed:
In order to solve the security issues and thus allow safe and efficient use of a website it is necessary to have security protocol (SSL – Secured Sockets Layer) that enables to encrypt data sent to and from the website, thereby creating a secure communication channel between two computers. SSL protocol is based on the A – symmetric method, containing two keys. This enables the encrypted message to be decrypted only by the second party and vice versa. This is called public key encryption – private key.
In addition, the protocol verifies that the server to which you are connected is indeed the correct server and it allows to make sure that the information sent from your PC will be delivered in its entirety to the website, without error and without disruption. If the server finds that there is an error of any kind in the information transmitted, it will require automatic replay from your browser.
This enables a secure transmission of information, without any unwanted “affiliates” …
Another advantage of the SSL protocol is that any and every server that wants to use this protocol must issue an SSL certificate. There is a company issuing these certificates. This company also verifies the identity of the person or party requesting the certificate.
The usage of these certificates allows the user to transfer sensitive data to a particular server and to verify that this is indeed the destination server and not an impostor seeking to steal the sensitive data. This is performed by the browser requests identification; the server sends the browser a copy of its SSL certificate; the browser checks whether it trusts the SSL certificate and if so, it sends a message to the server; the server sends back a digitally signed acknowledgement to start an SSL encrypted session; encrypted data is shared between the browser and the server.
In addition the website must be secured by anti-virus software that will prevent uploading viruses and spy-ware to the website.
When you enter the payment page of the website, make sure that the address bar includes “https://” and that a yellow lock icon appears on the page. If this icon is on the web page the browser identifies it as a secured website.
In order to identify the encryption method, position the cursor over the lock icon and a small label that states the type of security.