data security

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in General terms if a web site is using https or Verisign
how secure is the data traversing the network or internet
from server to client?

For example if a user had no security set up on their personal PC but they
visit a site that is protected via Verisign HTTPS

Also how secure is using something like Verizon's broadband wireless

Re: data security


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The secure server works in conjunction with your web browser to
encrypt traffic both ways.   When you see a little locked padlock at
the bottom of your browser, generally you can expect that this
encryption is taking place.

How secure is this encryption method?  I'll leave that some be
answered by some of the smart people in this group.

But whatever the strength, this is what most people rely upon when
using a secured server to do their Internet banking, webmail, etc.
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They would need a browser capable of doing the 128 bit encryption that
is established when communicating with a secured server.  These are
free (the obvious one being Microsoft Internet Explorer).

The Verisign part is just an expensive certificate that the owner of
the server must buy to supposedly convince users of his/her system
that they are who they say they are.
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There was a saying during WWII that "all wireless is treason".  Though
Verizon's service may or may not be encrypted, the fact that it
sending and receiving packets wirelessly over a wide geographic area
makes it less secure than a dedicated landline Internet connection.

There are many, many Internet applications that may carry sensitive
material (e-mail for one) that are not necessarily encrypted.   It's
sort of like giving credit card numbers out over an analog cell phone.
Some people don't have a problem with this, but most tech-savvy people
know that there are bad guys out there with easy-to-modify Radio Shack
800 Mhz scanners that can hear their conversations, even though the
government says that this is illegal.

Most of the network adminstrators that I know are still (rightly so)
paranoid over using wireless connections for their corporate computer
systems that carry sensitive material.   The real world effect though,
is that often convenience wins out and everybody wants their WI-FI
hotspots.  The average user has very little concern for security.


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