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Online transactions are secure if the implementation mechanisms meet their predefined security objectives of correctly authenticating the parties to the transaction, prevent unauthorized access and release of data, assure availability, faithfully conduct and record any negotiation, and preserve confidentiality and integrity of information. Pre-defined security objectives vary widely depending on the need.[1]


Secure is “a relative term that refers to how difficult and costly it is to gain unauthorized access to a communication. The more difficult and costly it is, the more secure a communication is.”[2]


  1. National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, at 34.
  2. I. Trotter Hardy, Project Looking Forward: Sketching the Future of Copyright in a Networked World 61 (May 1998).