Overview of Electronic Commerce

  • B2C and B2B are types of e-commerce.
  • B2C stands for business-to-consumer. B2C involves transactions conducted between businesses and consumers over the Internet. For example, placing an order for a book or a home appliance by a consumer to a business over the Internet.
  • B2B stands for business-to-business. B2B involves transactions conducted between businesses over the Internet. It is used to exchange products, services, or information between businesses. B2B is also known as e-biz.
  • The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international industry consortium that develops common standards for the World Wide Web to promote its evolution and interoperability.
  • E-commerce sites offer a wide access to existing markets. Moreover, they give new access to undiscovered markets. Online stores have many advantages over the traditional stores.
  • Electronic commerce, popularly known as e-commerce, refers to the method of conducting business communication and transactions over networks and through computers.
  • Interactivity means conversational exchange of input and output between a user and a computer. An interactive Web site is one that takes input from a user and responds accordingly.
  • Host name registration is not performed by DHCP. An Administrator has to calculate subnets, which become DHCP scopes. DHCP does not replace HOSTS files.
  • The growth of e-business depends on various factors such as constant availability of the online store, Electronic Data Interchange, increasing bandwidth, etc.
  • All activities undertaken for providing goods or services to satisfy human wants are known as business.
  • Industry deals with production of goods, whereas commerce deals with buying and selling of goods.
  • Trade is a process in which goods are taken from the source of production to the source of consumption. Since manufacturers cannot directly contact their customers, trade helps in bringing producers and consumers nearer to each other.
  • There are various obstacles that can hinder the smooth running of trade. The activities that are involved in removing these obstacles are known as aids to trade.
  • The factors for driving e-commerce are increase in access and connectivity, availability at all times, digital revolution, and convergence.
  • Execution is the second stage in the trade cycle of inter-organizational transactions. During this stage, ordering of goods, delivery of goods, etc., take place.
  • The following are the responsibilities of a Webmaster:
    • Monitoring performance of the Web site.
    • Maintaining security of the Web site.
    • Updating Web site contents, such as Web pages, and maintaining the database.
    • Checking for broken links on the Web site.
  • Management is a body of individuals. It refers to all those persons who are concerned about getting things done from others.
  • Management is a group of managers with specialized knowledge, whereas administration consists of the owners of an enterprise.
  • A budget is a plan in which estimated results are shown in terms of revenue and cost. It is a plan that covers all the phases of operations of an enterprise for a definite period of time.
  • Organizing is a process of dividing work among sections and departments. It involves the allocation of authority, responsibilities, and duties among all members of an enterprise.
  • The process of directing includes communication, leadership, motivation, etc.

The Digital Economy

  • Market refers to a place or region where goods and services are purchased and sold. Buyers and sellers meet here to execute purchases and sales.
  • A broker is an intermediary who bridges the gap between a buyer and a seller. Brokers do not possess any goods. They charge commission from a seller as well as from a buyer. This commission is known as brokerage.
  • The commerce that is conducted through wireless devices such as mobile phones, vending machines, ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) is known as m-commerce. It is used for the sale of mobile phones, ring tones, and games, etc.

Retailing in Electronic Commerce (e-Tailing)

  • Affiliate programs are services in which a link or a button is provided on a merchant’s Web site.
  • The services provided by a retailer to a customer are choice of product, credit facility, free home delivery, etc.
  • Tangible goods are physical goods that can be seen or touched by a user.
  • Marketing includes the processes of selling, advertising, pricing, etc.
  • Selling is concerned about the plans to get customers to exchange their money for goods and services.
  • A market can be classified on the basis of selling area, product, period, etc.
  • Manufacturer to consumer can be termed as direct consumer selling. In this process a manufacturer can appoint a salesmen to sell goods. The manufacturer can also open his retail shop and sell goods.
  • A retailer provides good facilities to customers rather than to wholesalers. His job is to sell goods to the ultimate consumer. He buys goods from a wholesaler in bulk quantities and sells them to customers in small quantities.
  • Warehousing is a process of storing goods in a warehouse by a wholesaler, retailer, manufacturer, etc. These goods are released as per the requirements of wholesaler, retailer, or manufacturer.

Internet Consumers, e-Service, and Market Research

  • The steps taken by a marketing manager to improve advertising are as follows:
    • Convince customers for delivery reliability.
    • Provide technical advice to customers.
    • Ensure replacement guarantee to customers.
  • A message board is a page on a Web site that is used to publish legal notices.
  • Personalized pages are the best way to show information that is based on customers’ last visits or purchases. By doing so, customers will feel comfortable with the site.
  • Communication refers to the process of sending and receiving information between two or more users.
  • FAQs are answers to most of questions that are very often asked by customers.
  • Target marketing is a process of determining the areas where the online promotion is viewed by visitors. It also frames marketing strategies accordingly.
  • A message board is also known as a forum. It is a facility on the Internet that can be used for holding discussions.
  • Online community is used to know about customers’ opinion about a product.
  • Online community can be created by using banners.
  • The objectives of an online business are to provide a basis for proper planning, to determine a proper pricing policy, and to know about the market competition.

Advertisement in E-Commerce

  • Keyword index is a database that contains significant words appearing in documents and information about their respective locations.
  • A Web site’s traffic can be measured by the number of visitors on the Web site.
  • Search engine can be used to index and facilitate searches on Web pages and news group articles.
  • CPM refers to the cost per thousand impressions. It is a method to price banner advertisements.
  • A search engine is a program that searches for keywords in a document, database, or a Web page on the World Wide Web (WWW).
  • The following are essential in order to attract visitors to a Web site:
    • The Web site’s rank should be high in search engines.
    • The Web site should have a number of links on other Web sites.
  • A hit counter is a simple counter that displays the number of visitors to a page. Hit counters are generally found at the bottom of HTML pages.
  • The click-through ratio is used to describe the ratio of clicks to impressions on an advertisement. It helps a Webmaster to know the ratio of people visiting a site advertised through a banner to the number of times the banner is shown.
  • Banners are media that advertise products or services by placing them as hyperlinks on Web pages.
  • Publisher sites are those sites that sell advertisements and solely depend upon advertisements for revenue.
  • CPC stands for cost per click. It is an Internet formula that is used to price banner ads. The payment is made to publishers by their advertisers on the basis of the number of clicks on a specific banner ad.
  • A page view refers to only the number of times a Web page is accessed, whereas a hit refers to the number of times a Web page is accessed with all its objects and contents.
  • Advertising is a process adopted by companies to promote their goods and services. Companies use different modes of advertising such as television, radio, Internet, etc., for the promotion of their products and services.
  • Push technology automatically transfers updated data to a Web client at a specified time. The update is initiated by the information server instead of clients having to request for it.
  • Direct mail is the oldest type of advertising media. In this type of advertising, letters containing details of a product and its specifications are sent to customers.

Company-centric B2B

  • A newsgroup can provide correct information related to a company. A newsgroup is a public bulletin board where Internet users can communicate easily and post, read, and reply to incoming messages.
  • Shopping cart is a software application that is used in e-commerce. It assists people in online shopping. The software application helps customers to select items and calculate bills.
  • Procurement is a process that focuses on the purchasing and availability of quality raw material. This raw material is used in the production of finished products. It is responsible for negotiating the quality supplies at acceptable rates.
  • An auction business does not need a storefront. Auction is a process of buying and selling goods by offering a bid.
  • Reverse auction is a tool in B2B. In this type of auction, sellers compete with one another to obtain business. A buyer contacts the marketers to make arrangements for a reverse auction.
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a set of standards for controlling the exchange of business documents, such as purchase orders, invoices, and sales orders, between organizations. This standard is used for American domestic trade. EDI is based on X12 standard.
  • Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) is a standard process that identifies how a company makes a purchase through the Internet from a selling company.
  • Open Trading Protocol (OTP) defines standards to enable a consistent framework for multiple forms of electronic commerce.
  • OBI is designed to allow a buying company to launch a purchase order from a selling company’s Web site, using digital certificate technology to validate its identity.

E-Marketplaces and B2B

  • Marketing strategies are related with planning market activities, which involve production models, promotion methods, physical distribution, and pricing techniques.
  • The process included in exchange are buying, assembling, and selling.
  • B2B portals are those sites that are used by businessmen to bring buyers and sellers together. It is advantageous because this business does not require a large investment on the infrastructure.
  • Price penetration policy is a type of pricing policy in which low price is set by a company to make an immediate entry in a market.
  • Price discrimination policy is a type of policy in which companies charge different prices from different customers for the same product.
  • Cost factor is related to the cost that is incurred by a manufacturer on the goods. This is the most important factor that is to be considered while framing a price policy. The price of the product should not be less than the cost of production.

B2B Support Services

  • The planning phase is essential to the success of a Web development project. During the planning phase, the developer identifies the project goals, performs feasibility study, and determines the content to be presented.
  • The following tag is used to provide comments in HTML documents:

    <!-comment here–>

  • The container tag uses opening and closing tags. The <head> and <body> and tags are examples of container tags. In the container tag, you write the content in between the opening and closing tags.
  • Empty tags need only opening tags.
  • Attributes describe certain aspects of an element that decide how the content is displayed in a browser. Each element used in HTML has certain attributes associated with it.
  • Keep the following techniques in mind while developing Web sites:
    • Use few colors.
    • Use the correct image standards.
    • Specify image size so that the rest of the page can render while images load.
    • Keep background images small or use color instead of images.
  • Financial requirements of a company can be met by issuing shares, debentures, taking loans from a bank, etc.
  • B2B is a type of e-commerce where a transaction is performed between two companies or businesses.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a concept that most companies use to manage their relationship with existing as well as new customers. It includes direct communication with customers, capturing and analyzing customer reviews, etc.
  • The content inventory includes information to be given on a site.

Dynamic Pricing: Auctions and More

  • In reserve auction, a minimum price is declared for a product. If the reserve price is not met, there is no sale.
  • Barter is a type of business in which goods or services are exchanged for other goods or services. It can be bilateral or multilateral. It is used in those societies where no monetary system exists.
  • If m-commerce remains a subset of e-commerce, then the development of the wireless technology will be limited. The fast development of the wireless technology is enhancing the role of m-commerce in business.

Service Industries, Online Publishing, and Knowledge Dissemination

  • Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML) is a language and protocol for knowledge management such as exchanging information and knowledge. It is used as a language for an application program to interact with an intelligent system.
  • KQML is both a message format and a message-handling protocol to support run-time knowledge sharing among agents.
  • According to the Internet Privacy law, a company cannot provide its customer’s financial and personal details to other companies.
  • A Web form can be used as an entry point in a knowledge base.
  • A knowledge base can be made successful by maintaining and updating the knowledge base, and informing users about new topics that are inserted in the knowledge base.
  • Electronic publishing is a term used for transferring information through electronic media. The information can be published through CDs and various other online services.
  • Silver was used as a mode of export payments in the nineteenth century. The silver standard was abandoned after the prices of silver fell all around the world, and countries moved to gold standard.
  • Encryption is a process of protecting a credit card number.

Intrabusiness, e-Government, and more

  • An intranet is a private network that is contained within an enterprise. Intranet is used to share company information and computing resources among employees.
  • Digital signature is a personal authentication method based on encryption and authorization code.
  • EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) is an electronic system in which state governments in the USA provide benefits to their authorized citizens through a debit card.
  • A peer-to-peer network model, also known as workgroup model, provides a way to connect a small group of computers, so that users can share printing resources and files. In this model, all the computers act as both clients and servers.
  • The drawback of peer-to-peer network is that taking backup is cumbersome.

Building E-Commerce Applications and Infrastructure

  • Text hyperlink is the most appropriate and simplest way for creating links. In a text hyperlink, a piece of text is linked to other Web pages.
  • Animated Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a type of GIF image that can be animated by combining several images into a single GIF file.
  • Active Server Pages (ASP) is Microsoft’s open application environment in which HTML pages, scripts, and ActiveX components are combined to create Web-based applications. ASP is used as a server-side scripting language.
  • Macromedia Flash uses vector-based graphics. Vector-based Flash movies provide compact interactive Web interfaces, animations, advertising banners, logos, etc.
  • Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a file format for the lossless, portable, well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG files can store colors with 8, 24, or 48 bits per pixel and gray scales with 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 bits per pixel.
  • DIV is an HTML tag that groups a series of elements into a larger group. It can be used when an action needs to be performed collectively on the grouped elements. The DIV tag acts as a container for other elements.
  • <frameset> tag specifies a frameset used to organize multiple frames and nested framesets in an HTML document. It defines the location, size, and orientation of frames.
  • The <td> tag is used to specify each cell of a table.
  • The WIDTH attribute of a <table> tag is used to set the width of a table. Width can be specified in pixels and percentage.
  • The ALIGN attribute aligns a table within the text flow. By default alignment is set to left.
  • The BORDER attribute of a <table> tag is used to set the width of the table border.
  • JavaScript and Perl can be used to create and store cookies on client computers.
  • The Favorites feature is available on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and the Bookmark feature is available on Netscape Navigator.
  • A crawler is a software component of a search engine.
  • A spider is used by search engines to index WWW documents. It is a software component of a search engine. It explores the Internet for Web sites, makes copies of the Web pages found, and stores these pages in the search engine’s index. A spider is also known as a Web crawler.
  • Java Servlet is the latest technology used as a Java replacement for CGI. It is a server side Web server extension. Java Servlets provide an easy way for server side code to communicate with web-based clients.
  • COLSPAN attribute is used to span one column across many columns. COLSPAN is an attribute of <table> tag. <td> and <th> tags that allow a single column in a table to take space that is occupied by several columns.
  • TIFF and PNG image file formats require plug-ins to view them on a browser.
  • The <meta> tags are hidden tags of an HTML document, which are not displayed in a browser but provide a browser or search engine robot with useful detailed information. The information that is provided in a tag is used by search engines to index a page so that someone searching for the kind of information the page contains will be able to find it.
  • In Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), a table is created using the <table>, <tr> , and <td> tags. The <table> tag designs the table layout, the <tr> tag is used to create a row, and the <td> tag is used to create a column.
  • An HTML document can either contain a <frameset> tag or a <body> tag.
  • Absolute size of frames is expressed in pixels. Size is expressed in terms of the number of pixels in a frame. Therefore, a change in the screen area of a display device does not affect the absolute frame size of a Web page.
  • VBScript is a subset of Visual Basic language. It is used for active scripting in various environments, such as Web client scripting for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Web server scripting for Microsoft Internet Information Service.
  • JavaScript is a simple, lightweight, and dynamic World Wide Web (WWW) scripting language developed by Netscape Communications.
  • Perl stands for Practical Extraction and Reporting Language. A program in Perl is called a script. The syntax for Perl is similar to that of C language.
  • HTTP-EQUIV is an attribute of the META tag. It sets or retrieves information used to bind the META tag’s content to an HTTP response header. The pragma value of HTTP-EQUIV controls the page cache.
  • Dreamweaver is an HTML editor that offers tools for HTML page creation and Web site management.
  • The major advantage that a table-structured Web site has over a frame-structured Web site is that users can bookmark the pages of a table-structured Web site, whereas pages of a frame-structured Web site cannot be bookmarked or added to the Favorites folder.
  • The ALT attribute is an HTML attribute that sets a text alternative to a graphic in a Web page. The text replaces the graphic for text-only browsers.
  • The MARGINHEIGHT and MARGINWIDTH attributes are used in the tag to adjust the top and left margins of a Web page to be displayed in Netscape Navigator.
  • Web site traffic depends upon the number of users who are able to locate a Web site.
  • Search engines are one of the most frequently used tools to locate Web sites.
  • Object-oriented programming (OOP) is organized around objects rather than actions, and data rather than logic.
  • Frames are extensions of the HTML 3.2 standard introduced by Netscape. Elements such as navigation links and title graphic can be placed in static individual frames.
  • The <frame> tag defines the contents that will appear in each frame. It is used within the tag. Frames allow users to display multiple HTML files at a time.
  • The Web pages can be created dynamically using other languages besides HTML, such as Java servlets, JavaScript, VBScript, etc.
  • Visual Basic is a language that is used to create Windows applications.
  • The Web server that is to be set up should have a high quality and be of a reasonable cost. The Web server should be stable and its performance should be good.
  • The performance of a Web server can only be checked through software that is installed on the Web server.
  • Uptime is the length of time a Web server has been running since it was last rebooted.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a client/server TCP/IP protocol used on the World Wide Web (WWW) to display Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) pages.
  • A robots file is used to prevent certain files and directories from being indexed by a spider program. The name of a robots file is robots.txt.
  • Redundant links are useful, as they can connect the Web pages with one another.
  • Interdependence means that a system depends on another system for sending or retrieving information. They are coordinated and linked together with respect to a plan.
  • An ASP (Application Service Provider) offers packaged software for high-end applications such as databases, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), etc. This software can be used by small and medium organizations.
  • TCP/IP is the primary protocol of the Internet.
  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) forms are the most commonly used method of getting information from Web site visitors.
  • Telnet uses port 23 by default.
  • MIME stands for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. It is a standard for multi-part, multimedia electronic mail messages and World Wide Web hypertext documents on the Internet.
  • List server is an SMTP server that forwards e-mails it receives to all members in the list of e-mail recipients forming a discussion group.
  • The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) specification is used for creating executable programs that run on a Web server.
  • SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is used for requesting information from a database. It also contains statements for inserting, updating, and administering data and objects in a database.
  • HTTP 1.1 allows the use of multiple virtual servers, all using different DNS names resolved by the same IP address.
  • The Refresh button updates the visited Web page stored in the disk cache with the latest content from a Web server.
  • POP3 uses TCP port 110 by default.
  • A site map is an online table of contents. It is a Web page that provides hyperlinks to Web site resources. A site map is an extremely useful navigation mechanism for most Web sites.
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) is a Web and application server for the Internet and private intranets.
  • A Web-based application uses Data Source Name (DSN) to connect to a database. DSN is a logical name used by Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) to refer to connection information required to access data.
  • Index server is used to enable Web searching on corporate intranets and Internet sites. Once installed, it automatically builds an index of a Web server that can be easily searched from any Web.
  • Web caching is a method of minimizing performance bottlenecks and reducing network traffic by serving locally cached Web content.
  • The following table shows the ports assigned to the protocols by default:
    Protocol Port Number

    • SMTP 25
    • Telnet 23
    • FTP 21
    • HTTP 80
    • POP3 110
  • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a standard that defines a way for an application program to communicate with the database server.
  • Java database connectivity (JDBC) is a common base application programming interface (API), developed by Sun Microsystems Inc., for accessing data from a database.
  • Anonymous authentication is generally used for public Internet Web sites. Using this method, a user can establish a connection with a Web server without providing username and password.
  • Bottlenecks are usually found in network connection, slow hard disks, and lack of memory for static HTML pages. Bottleneck in ASP application performance is connection management.
  • The Commerce Server Site Packager is a deployment tool that has two primary uses. It can be used to package the Microsoft Commerce Server 2002 site into a single file, which includes Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 or later settings (metabase), the file system, resources from the Administration database, and SQL Server databases. It can also be used to unpack the Commerce Server site or portions of it onto other computers.
  • The time a Web server takes to provide results in the users’ Web browsers should be considered for monitoring the Web server’s performance.
  • A shopping cart is a software module of an e-commerce site that acts as the ordering process component.
  • VPN stands for virtual private network. It allows users to use the Internet as a secure pipeline to their corporate local area networks (LANs).
  • A browser is an application that enables a user to view Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) documents on the World Wide Web, on another network, or on his computer. Internet Explorer is an example of a browser application. A browser is also known as a Web browser.
  • Caching Servers store the Web pages previously retrieved by users in their memory and serve them directly to users who later request for the same data.
  • Following types of servers are dedicated to provide resources to other hosts on the network:
    • Mail servers
    • Print servers
    • Web servers
  • In order to enhance the usability of the site, you should always configure the site with a standard technology that most of the browser versions support.
  • The number of hits per page will help you rank the Web pages in your site according to their popularity. The number of hits per page denotes the number of clicks on that particular page. The more the number of hits, the more popular is the page.
  • Payment gateway is one of the most important considerations while designing the payment part of a site. Payment modes can hamper or increase your site’s usability.
  • Shipping and handling are directly related to the potential customer, they are also important considerations.
  • Online catalog is an important consideration in the designing stage of an e-commerce site. As, users are going to interact mostly to this part of the site, a Webmaster needs to take great care of it.
  • An online product catalog contains information of the products sold on a site, their prices, images, rates and other related information. This catalog is important for every e-commerce site, as it helps a buyer to purchase products.
  • In order to get most of information about a Web server, a user should use the Web server log file analyzer. Lots of information about the activities of visitors is available in the Web server log files.
  • InetLoad is a Microsoft utility that is used to measure the performance of a Web application when it is being bombarded with hits from all sides.
  • High-speed dial-up is the most unreliable Internet connection to be used to host an e-commerce site.
  • A cookie is a small bit of text that accompanies requests and pages as they move between Web servers and browsers. It contains information that is read by a Web application, whenever a user visits a site.
  • The client-side script controls the front-end (i.e. the browser end) of an application, whereas the server-side scripting, such as ASP, can be used to access a database stored on a Web server.
  • An RDBMS database contains several tables that are related to each other through a primary key and foreign key combination. Managing data in RDBMS is easy for Webmasters.
  • The best way to authenticate users on an intranet is by using NT authentication. Windows NT authentication works where client and server computers are located in the same or trusted domains.
  • Web sites store information in cookies.
  • Cookies are sent in the HTTP response header.
  • Schema refers to the structure of a database. It is a database definition containing information about all the objects in a database, such as tables, columns in each table, and the relationships between tables in a relational database.
  • Server optimization is a goal to optimize the performance and resource utilization of a server.
  • Electronic commerce includes the buying and selling of goods and services, and transfer of funds, through digital communications.
  • E-Commerce increases efficiency, opens new markets, and can be used to communicate directly with a customer.
  • A Web server is a computer where the Web pages of a Web site are saved and Web browser requests are processed. It has a domain name and an IP address.
  • A Web site that is created should be efficient and easy to use. This is the main idea behind usability.
  • Click pattern is a route through which a user has visited and surfed a Web site.
  • Voice connection is also known as telephony. In this process, a user can talk to other users through the Internet.
  • The Not Found error is displayed if the page for which the user has requested does not exist on a Web server. Its status code is 404.
  • The browser name is not included in the header information sent by a Web server.
  • PWS stands for Personal Web Server. It can be installed on a Windows 98 computer. It is compatible with IIS and can be used for serving a small Web site or an intranet. It can also be used for testing purposes.
  • A catalog is a compilation of product details. It contains a list of products or services. It can be used to put all the information on a Web page, which is necessary for the products or services offered by a company. A customer can access all information about a product in the catalog.
  • A site can be considered as a dead site for the following reasons:
    • If the copyright dates are not updated as per the current year, the site can be considered as a dead site.
    • A link that does not open to another page is known as a broken link. If a Web site contains such links, it can be considered as a dead site.
    • If a Web site is based on old technologies, it can be considered as a dead site.
  • Throughput is the amount of data that is send to users in a given period of time.
  • Throughput is related to the performance of a Web server.
  • Bottleneck is a situation caused by excessive demand on scarce system resources.
  • Clustering is a way of grouping multiple Web servers to handle heavy traffic.
  • Inventory refers to the stock of a specific product kept by a seller.
  • In entry-level e-commerce, a merchant will not consider an unlimited budget, the reason being that he is still a new entrant into e-commerce. This budget may prove to be a loss for the merchant.
  • A template is a pre-defined structure that can be used for creating Web pages easily.

E-Commerce Security

  • SYN attack refers to a condition in which a hacker sends a bunch of packets that leave TCP ports half open.
  • PING is a utility that sends Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) request packets to a specified destination host.
  • A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is mounted with the objective of causing a negative impact on the performance of a computer or network.
  • Brute force attack causes accounts lockouts. In a brute force attack, unauthorized users attempt to log on to a network or a computer by using multiple user names and passwords.
  • Firewall is security to protect the network of an organization from external attacks by intruders.
  • Encrypted text is referred to as ciphertext while original text is referred to as plaintext.
  • Symmetric encryption is a type of encryption that uses a single key to encrypt and decrypt data. Symmetric encryption algorithms are faster than public key encryption.
  • Authentication is a process of verifying the identity of a person, network host, or system process. The authentication process compares the provided credentials with the credentials stored in a database of an authentication server.
  • Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is a remote access protocol that supports encryption.
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) uses a combination of public key and symmetric encryption to provide communication privacy, authentication, and message integrity.
  • Packet filtering is a method that allows or restricts the flow of specific types of packets to provide security.
  • Certificate-based authentication is the most secure method of authentication. It provides stronger key for encryption as compared to Digest authentication and sends encrypted passwords across the network. This prevents unauthorized users from intercepting the passwords.
  • NTLM version 2 uses 128-bit encryption. It is the most secure form of challenge/response authentication.
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) session keys are available in 40-bit and 128-bit lengths.
  • Asymmetric encryption is a type of encryption that uses two keys – a public key and a private key pair for data encryption.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a protocol used in the Universal Resource Locater (URL) address line to connect to a secure site.
  • Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol that provides strong authentication and secure communications over unsecured channels.
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) provides security through data encryption and digital signature.
  • A certificate is a digital representation of information that identifies authorized users on the Internet and intranets.
  • Blocking all the packets, unless they are explicitly permitted, is the most secure policy for a firewall.
  • Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol. It uses public key encryption as the main method for user authentication.
  • Certification authority (CA) is an entity in a network, which manages security credentials and public keys for message encryption.
  • Certificate Authority is a trusted third-party organization that issues digital certificates to create digital signatures and public key pairs.
  • The International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA) is a block cipher that operates on 64-bit blocks using a 128-bit key.
  • In Digest authentication, passwords are sent across a network as a hash value, rather than as clear text.
  • Digest authentication is a more secure authentication method as compared to Basic authentication.
  • The encryption frameworks and digital signatures have been developed to address security issues in the e-commerce system.
  • Encryption is a method of securing data while it travels over the Internet. The encryption software encodes information from plain text to encrypted text, using specific algorithms with a string of numbers known as a key.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is used to access a secure Web server on the Internet. In case of a SSL connection between a Web browser and a Web server, you must enter HTTPS instead of HTTP as the protocol type in the URL.
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a technology built-in the Web server and browser to encrypt data traveling over the Internet.
  • Using the SSL protocol, clients and servers can communicate in a way that prevents eavesdropping and tampering.
  • Use SSL and encrypted authentication to secure a Web server in order to allow only authenticated users to access it.
  • SSL allows a server to authenticate itself to a client by using public-key techniques. It then allows the client and the server to cooperate in creating symmetric keys that are used for encryption, decryption, and tamper detection during the SSL session that follows.
  • In the SSL model of security, a client always authenticates a server, and the server has the option to authenticate the client. In normal circumstances, Web servers do not authenticate a client during the handshake process.
  • By default, HTTP uses Transmission Control Protocol port 80, while HTTPS uses port 443.
  • A message digest is a number, which is created algorithmically from a file and represents that file uniquely.
  • The name of the key is not a factor on which encryption strength is based.
  • The cryptographic technique prevents attacks against the communication between two parties. It encrypts the messages sent and received between two entities.
  • Digital certificate should be used to verify the identity of a potential customer.
  • The Diffie-Hellman encryption was developed by Diffie and Hellman in 1976 and published in the paper named “”New Directions in Cryptography.”” It is a key agreement protocol (also called exponential key agreement) that allows two users to exchange a secret key over an insecure medium (such as the Internet) without any prior secrets.
  • Encryption ensures the integrity of a message sent through e-mail.
  • PPTP and HTTPs are the protocols that can be used for establishing a secure connection over the Internet.
  • The process of limiting access to the resources of a Web site is called access control.
  • DES stands for Data Encryption Standard. It is an algorithm that is used to encrypt and decrypt text.
  • A message digest is a method of applying one-way encryption to provide authentication.
  • X.509v3 is the standard established to define the content and format of a digital certificate.

Electronic Payment Systems

  • The Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a highly reliable and efficient nationwide batch-oriented electronic funds transfer system.
  • Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) is a standard protocol for secure electronic transactions, such as credit card payments, over the Internet. SET uses 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) encryption and requires digital signatures to verify the identities of all parties involved in a transaction.
  • The merchant account is used for credit card processing. A merchant is a person or organization that sells goods or services to a cardholder.
  • VeriSign is a certification authority that issues digital certificates. A user can request VeriSign to verify the validity of a certificate.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a method of automating the payment process. EFT allows businesses to conduct financial transactions electronically.
  • The Originator is an individual, organization, or any other entity that initiates entries into the ACH Network.
  • Receiver is an individual, organization, or any other entity that has authorized an Originator to initiate a credit or debit entry to a transaction account held at a Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI).
  • Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI) is any financial institution qualified to receive ACH entries that agrees to abide by the NACHA Operating Rules and Guidelines.
  • A payment gateway is required to process online credit card payments. It is a mechanism to process credit card transactions for validation and to transfer funds.
  • Customers may use EFT to electronically transfer the amount to their suppliers, instead of issuing checks on the arrival of goods.
  • A payment gateway is not a credit card processor. It is a link to a credit card processor and is used to authorize or deny credit card payments.
  • Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) is a standard protocol for secure electronic transactions, such as credit card payments, over the Internet.
  • There are three types of transactions during a digital cash procedure. The types of transactions are as follows:
    • Withdrawal
    • Payment
    • Deposit
  • The following are entities that are involved in digital cash system:
    • Bank or financial network
    • Payer or a consumer
    • Payee or shop
  • Digital cash is anonymous, portable, and transferable.
  • NetCash is not an online payment system.
  • Digital cash is a system that allows a person to pay for goods or services by transmitting a unique number from one computer to another.
  • Digital cash does not contain the identity of its purchaser, as user information is not required with digital cash.
  • E-mail is not a model of payment supported by e-commerce.
  • The payment models used in e-commerce are credit cards, cash, and checks.
  • EBPP stands for Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment. It is a process through which companies create bills for their customers and receive payments from them electronically over the Internet.
  • AVS stands for Advanced Verification Service. It is used to compare the billing address of the transaction with the billing address of a credit card.

Order Fulfillment, Logistics, and Supply Chain Management

  • ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is used to create a plan for a business management system. It includes all the departments of a business such as planning, marketing, manufacturing, etc.
  • Back office is that part of a business that does not interact with customers. This type of office includes accounts department, human resource department, etc. The back office deals with the process of running a business. It includes planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, and controlling.

EC Strategy and Implementation

  • Forecasting is a technique used to find out the economic, social, and financial forces affecting the business. Its purpose is to predict future events on the basis of present and past data. This data can be related to financial, production, and marketing activities.
  • Bargaining refers to a business strategy in which the price of a product is kept a little lower than the cost of production. There are many manufacturers and suppliers of a same product.
  • ROI is the ratio of the profit or loss on an investment to the amount of money invested.

The Regulatory Environment of Electronic Commerce

  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is an encryption method that uses public-key encryption to encrypt and digitally sign e-mail messages during communication between e-mail clients.
  • The customer’s privacy and safety are the most important things to consider while designing an e-commerce site.
  • PGP is an asymmetric method of encrypting data for security.
  • Standard Internet e-mail is usually sent as plaintext over networks. This is not secure, as intruders can monitor mail servers and network traffic to obtain sensitive information.
  • A new section 43(d) of the Trademark Act (Lanham Act) states that anyone who in bad faith registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that infringes or dilutes another’s trademark has committed trademark infringement.
  • A trademark is a symbol that is used by a company to distinguish its products from those of other companies.
  • According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), selling code-cracking devices or software on an e-commerce site is not permitted.
  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects ISPs from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting copyrighted material over the Internet.
  • If an ISP notices that his customer’s Web site has constituted a copyright infringement, the ISP will remove the copyrighted content from the Web site.
  • According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it is not illegal for a site to provide free downloads of shareware.
  • An intellectual property is a creative idea and expression that possesses commercial value and receives the legal protection of a property right.
  • When a copyrighted article is published by its owner, republishing the article by another person constitutes a copyright violation.
  • The Paris Convention governs the management of intellectual property.
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed by Congress and then signed by the President. Title II – the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, sets clear guidelines through which an ISP will not be held for copyright infringement by following specific guidelines dictated by the new law.
  • A copyright is a form of intellectual property, which secures to its holder the exclusive right to produce copies of his or her works of original expression, such as a literary work, movie, musical work or sound recording, painting, photograph, computer program, or industrial design, for a defined, yet extendable, period of time.
  • If a company hides faults in its products and supplies them to its customers, it will give a bad name to the company.
  • A contract is a legal agreement between two parties. It includes terms and conditions that are to be fulfilled by the parties.

E-Communities, Global, and Other Issues in EC

  • The protocols that can be used for ensuring security of e-commerce transactions are SSL, SET, HTTPs, etc.
  • BPR (Business Process Reengineering) is a management approach, which aims at improvement of business activities by means of increasing efficiency. This approach can be used in making strategies for increasing production and enhancing marketing.

M-Commerce

  • Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a protocol that supports mobile computing. It is developed by the WAP forum by using Wireless Markup Language (WML).
  • SSID stands for Service Set Identifier. It is the name of a wireless local area network (WLAN).
  • Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) is a security layer of WAP, which is specifically designed for a wireless environment. It provides privacy, data integrity, and authentication for client-server communications over a wireless network.
  • Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network in which computers located at distant locations are connected to each other. It consists of two or more LANs that are connected through public networks such as telephone system, leased lines, etc. It is not used for mobile computing.
  • Content transaction is a type of transaction in which transfer of information is unidirectional, i.e., information can be transferred only in one direction. The information includes promotional offers, news, weather reports, etc. The content transaction can also be used to do mass advertising and target marketing.
  • Spam is a term that refers to the unsolicited e-mails sent to a large number of e-mail users. The number of such e-mails is increasing day by day, as most companies now prefer to use e-mails for promoting their products.
  • E-mail is a service used to send messages through the Internet. A user has to create and maintain an email account, which is also known as an e-mail address.

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