What is an Authentic Site?
An Authentic Site is a web site which operates a secure server enabled by a VeriSign server Digital IDSM. The site's Digital ID allows for secure communications and encrypted transactions with site visitors through their browser connections.
To qualify as an Authentic Site, a company submits documentation to VeriSign. VeriSign then performs a background check to verify the company's right to use a specific company name (e.g. Visa®) and Internet address (e.g. www.visa.com). After this investigation, VeriSign issues the site a server Digital ID which serves as the site's unique "identity card" and can be viewed by visitors to the site.
An Authentic Site provides site visitors with the
- The site you are visiting is real (i.e. you are not being "spoofed") since the company name and web site address on the Digital ID have been confirmed.
- Data exchanged with the site is secure and encrypted when your browser establishes a secure (SSL) connection with the site. This is especially critical when sending confidential information (such as a credit card number) to the site.
How Can You Be Sure You're Visiting an Authentic Site?
The only way to be sure of a web site's authenticity is to view the site's Digital IDSM. Viewing a site's Digital ID assures that you are not being "spoofed" (i.e. the site is real and not an imposter) since it contains:
- The name of the company which owns the web site (e.g. Visa)
- The site's authorized (registered? - Don't you just have to register with internic to get a domain name as opposed to being "authorized"??) Internet address (e.g. www.visa.com)
- The name of the Secure Server Certification Authority under which VeriSign issued the Digital ID (RSA Data Security or VeriSign)
Please take a moment to view this site's Digital ID by following these simple steps, depending on your current web browser:
- Microsoft Internet ExplorerTM
- Look for the "secure session" icon, which displays as a locked padlock in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. The page your are currently viewing should display the padlock; you can only view a site's Digital ID when you have a secure connection.
- From the Filemenu, select Properties, then click on the Security tab to bring up the details of the site's Digital ID.
- Netscape NavigatorTM
- Look for Netscape's "secure session" icon which displays as a solid gold key in the lower-left hand corner and a solid blue line across the top of the window (Navigator 3.0 or earlier), or as a locked padlock in the lower left-hand corner and on the Security button on the top navigation bar (Navigator 4.0 or later). The page you are currently viewing should display the secure icon; you can only view a site's Digital ID when you have a secure connection.
- From the View menu, select Document Info or Page Info to bring up the details of the site's Digital ID.
By checking the details of the Digital ID (the name of the site owner, site address, and Certification Authority), you can be assured that the site you are visiting is indeed an Authentic Site.
Who is VeriSign?
VeriSign, Inc. is the world's leading Internet Certification Authority, the trusted third party that authenticates, issues, and manages digital certificates on the Internet. VeriSign's Digital IDsSM enable trusted electronic commerce by authenticating the individuals, organizations, and content involved in an electronic transaction.
- VeriSign is a trusted third party.
VeriSign is the first commercial Certification Authority to focus 100% on providing Digital ID products and services. Its dedication, industry-leading practices and highly-secure facilities are trusted by millions of VeriSign Digital ID holders.
- VeriSign is reliable and experienced.
VeriSign is the world's first commercial Certification Authority
and today is trusted by customers in more than 50 countries.
- VeriSign Digital IDs are universal.
Embedded in every copy of Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer and most popular Web servers is a VeriSign Digital ID ready to be enabled. VeriSign has issued Digital IDs to thousands of web sites and millions (if not 2 million or more, can you tone down just a bit?) of individuals around the world.
- VeriSign Digital IDs are easy to obtain and use.
With simple online enrollment, VeriSign Digital IDs are obtained and used over the Internet in conjunction with over 50 popular applications. To enroll for your Digital ID, please visit VeriSign's Digital ID Center.
Where can you find Authentic Sites?
To find a listing of sites participating in the VeriSign Authentic Site program, you can visit
the Authentic Site Index. The Authentic Site Index allows you to search for web sites that are committed to security to protect their customers, protect their own web sites, and enable secure communications with site visitors.
By visiting the Index, you can search for sites by type, URL, or name, or even browse recent entries.
Please visit VeriSign's web site or the
Authentic Site Index for more information.