What is a security certificate?

Written by Richard Lowe

I'll bet one time or another you've surfedrepparttar web and suddenly found a pop-up window in front of you, demanding your approval for a security certificate. I occasionally see these on shopping sites, usuallyrepparttar 132051 smaller, less-well-funded companies.

The first time I saw one of these windows I had no idea what to do. Whatrepparttar 132052 heck is a security certificate? And whatever it is, why isrepparttar 132053 browser asking me about it? I mean, I had enough questions about ActiveX controls, now I was being asked about security certificates?

Let's look at security certificates fromrepparttar 132054 perspective of dating. Let's say you are a woman looking for a date. How do you know you can trust a person?

Well, you can just decide for yourself or you can ask a trusted friend aboutrepparttar 132055 potential date. So you call up "Sally" and ask "can I trust Bill on a date?" Sally will tell you yes or no, and since you trust her if she says "no"repparttar 132056 poor guy will not be going out with you.

That'srepparttar 132057 way a security certificate works. The certificate is an electronic document which is highly secure (encrypted) and stamped with an identifier. That identifier saysrepparttar 132058 web site with repparttar 132059 certificate is whom it claims to be.

The way it works is straightforward. Let's say I want to sell something on my web site. I might purchase a security certificate from Verisign (or any number of other companies) to prove to people visiting my web site that I am who I say I am.

Before it grantsrepparttar 132060 certificate, I will need to provide Verisign with proof that I am indeedrepparttar 132061 person (or company) that I claim to be. Verisign will ask me for documents, notarized, such as a birth certificate (for a personal certificate) or other documents from businesses. Several documents must be presented in order for Verisign to grant repparttar 132062 certificate.

Real Life Internet Evil: Brilliant Digital Entertainment

Written by Richard Lowe

Our purpose with this series is to use real life examples of deception, fraud and other evil to show how you can better protect yourself. The examples cited in these articles are intended to demonstrate best practices and recommendations.

What would you think about allowing someone to have unlimited access to your computer system without your knowledge or permission? Now, how do you feel about letting that person rent out your CPU, spare disk space and extra memory? Do you likerepparttar idea of these strangers downloading programs, data and lord knows what else to your machine and using your bandwidth?

A company called Brilliant Digital Entertainment has been quietly preparing to do just this. They have been distributing their "free" 3D advertising technology since last fall, and along with that software they have quietly been installing file-swapping software called Kazaa.

Brilliant Digital Entertainment has stated as a part of their SEC filing that they will soon be turning on a vast, multi-million machine P2P (point-to-point) network. This network consists ofrepparttar 132049 machines belonging to those people who have downloaded and installed their software. The network is known as Altnet.

What does Brilliant want to do with this vast network? They have some very grand plans, but one major task is using these personally owned computers to store and serve ads (banners and other things). Their logic is described in an excerpt from their SEC filing:

"An example of Network Services is ad serving. When a user opens a new Web page, andrepparttar 132050 banner ad which appears on that page is delivered by a third party ad serving company, such as DoubleClick,repparttar 132051 third party ad serving company incurs infrastructure, management, bandwidth and processing costs for every single banner ad which gets served. Often times,repparttar 132052 same ad gets "served" millions of times each month. Using Altnet's proposed solutions, all of those ads could be delivered torepparttar 132053 users viarepparttar 132054 Altnet network, thereby saving costs for third party ad serving companies."

Brilliant does have some vague plans in place to compensaterepparttar 132055 people involved inrepparttar 132056 network, at least some of them. Here's what their SEC filing says about that:

"To maximizerepparttar 132057 efficiency ofrepparttar 132058 Altnet network, selected users with higher than average processing power, significant free space on their hard drives and broadband connectivity to repparttar 132059 Internet, will first be engaged by Altnet to become main hubs onrepparttar 132060 network. We refer to each of these hubs as a qualified PC, or QPC. We intend to enter into an end user agreement withrepparttar 132061 owner of each QPC pursuant to which we will compensaterepparttar 132062 owner for access to and use of their computers while logged ontorepparttar 132063 Internet. We have yet to finalizerepparttar 132064 terms of compensation, however we anticipate it will be a combination of non-cash components, which may include gift certificates, products and/or access to video content, and we expect to initiate this process some time in Q2 2002."

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use