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Hour 8. Protecting Your Privacy (and Oth... > Knowing Who You're Dealing With: Cer...

Knowing Who You're Dealing With: Certificates

If you use Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, now and then you'll come across a certificate on the Web (see Figure 8.10). When you first see one, it seems like a big deal, but it's not. You won't see certificates often, and when you do, you can deal with them in just a click or two.

Certificate. A certificate is a dialog that appears when you enter some Web sites to certify the identity of the site and its owner. They provide assurance that you're actually communicating with the company you think you're communicating with. They appear most often when a site is sending some sort of program code, such as Java or a plug-in (see Hour 7, "Playing Online Video, Music, and Broadcasts"), to your browser; the certificate identifies the company so you can decide whether you trust that company enough to let it run a program in your browser.


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