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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 04:57 GMT 05:57 UK
E-commerce security boon

The British Chambers of Commerce has linked up with the Royal Mail to offer businesses the chance to trade securely online.

For 50 a year, businesses will get software keys that confirm the identity of e-commerce traders and scramble commercial information so that only the intended recipients can read it.

One of the hottest topics in the world of e-commerce is e-security and many businesses are deterred from trading online by security fears.

Chambers across the country will be able to issue the digital certificates, sparking hopes that the initiative will encourage more UK businesses to trade online.

Online safety

Technical support will be provided by the Royal Mail's digital security service, ViaCode.

Its website says that while 76% of large UK businesses use the internet , 71% of them do not send confidential or sensitive information via the internet.

"By ending once and for all the perception that e-commerce is too difficult and risky, ChamberSign will put lower costs, faster delivery and access to new markets within reach of all businesses," Chris Humphries, director general of the BCC said.

The standard is being developed with ten other European countries and the BCC says that within a year, it will be possible to use the certificates online across international borders.

The move has been welcomed e-commerce minister Patricia Hewitt.

She said:"ChamberSign offers low cost digital signature technology to help British firms feel secure about doing business electronically, which is exactly what our Electronic Communications Bill seeks to promote."

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See also:

24 Mar 00 | Business
Outdoing the hackers
15 Dec 99 | Business
Internet security boon
04 Feb 00 | Business
E-business: opportunity or peril?
05 Apr 00 | Business
Small business discovers the net
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