About Security on the Web

Because security of data was not a primary issue for the original architects of the Internet, there is a small but finite possibility that some nasty hacker out there can "sniff" your communications packets and thus listen in on your conversation with our Web server.

What does this mean to you? Well, assuming that somebody out there is eavesdropping, this means that the eavesdropper could get ahold of your credit card number and then use it for evil purposes. Fortunately, our friends at Netscape have come up with a way to encrypt the conversation between your browser and our Web server. This is done by running an encrypted secure connection between the browser and the Web site. With a secure connection, all message packets are encoded and are impossible (in theory) to figure out.

Running a secure connection is simple: when typing the URL, just use the prefix https instead of http. Then, assuming that your browser is security-ready (Netscape Navigator is, and so are some others), and a secure Web server exists on the other end (not all sites have secure servers), you will get a secure connection after some small delay to set up the encryption. You can tell you have a secure connection because a blue stripe will appear across the top of your screen, and the small key in the lower lefthand corner will be connected (so THAT'S what that little broken key is for!).

Click here to view this page on Criterion's secure server with encryption enabled. Assuming that you are running a security-ready browser, you should get the blue line and connected key as described above. Obviously, there is nothing top secret on this page that you really need to view it in secure mode, but it makes a good demo. However, for maximum protection, whenever sending sensitive information such as a credit card number over the Web, you should send it encrypted, if possible.

If your network operates behind a firewall, you might not be able to access our secure server. If this is the case, you will need to contact your local network adminstrator to resolve the problem.

You can learn more about encryption on the Web by visiting Netscape's On Internet Security page.

Click here to return to the Criterion purchase page with encryption enabled. Or return to the Criterion Collection.