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Why Do We Use SSL?

Most communication between computers across the Internet is done using the TCP/IP protocols we have been discussing throughout the book. TCP/IP makes it possible for information to get from one computer to its final destination, be it an e-mail message, Web page request, or online chat. TCP/IP moves the data from the source computer to the destination across the networks of intermediary computers that make up the Internet. TCP/IP has gained worldwide acceptance because of its flexibility and simplicity. Any computer can be designed to talk the TCP/IP language and participate on the Internet.

Picture the information moving from your computer to its destination. Maybe you are surfing a Web site or sending an e-mail message. Either way, the information that you are sending is vulnerable to manipulation when it passes through each of the intermediary computers on the way to its destination. TCP/IP by itself does not provide protection of the data or information that it carries. That means that your Web surfing, e-mail, and other Internet communications are open to attack unless they use SSL. Three fundamental security and privacy issues exist within the Internet infrastructure:


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