When you browse the Internet, looking at various sites, you are in effect interchanging data between your computer and another computer called a server. This data is transmitted in plain text and it is not difficult for anyone, with certain web access, to read. This type of information whizzes around the Internet all the time from server to server and since there is no personal information being exchanged nothing is risked by this data being public.
When you are placing an order on a web site you are actually sending very private and financially sensitive data across the Internet to a server. A secure website encrypts this data using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol protecting it from being read by third parties. The encryption insures that the data you send cannot be read unless the corresponding receiving server has the proper encryption key to translate the data. The SSL also states the registered physical address of the company or individual that holds the SSL certificate so you know exactly who you are doing business with.
The lock icon is an indicator that the page you are on is an encrypted page. This lock shows up in different places in different browsers. In Microsoft's Internet Explorer, FireFox Mozella and Google Chrome the lock appears to the right of the address bar at the top of the page. The lock will be shown in a closed position and in an unencrypted page the lock will be open.
Before you place an order on any online store you should determine if they have a real, permanent, brick and mortar store address. Do they have a phone number listed? How many years have they been in business? These are all important questions to ask before you can comfortably making an online purchase. The Advanced Refinishing family of stores has been in business since 1988. We were repairing and refinishing outdoor furniture long before we dreamed of selling DIY outdoor furniture supplies online. We are an establish company that has been doing business at the same address for years. Our business is secure and our stores are secure. Your data is safe with us.