To find out if your transaction is guarded by SSL, look for the picture of the unbroken key or closed lock in your browser window (both the Netscape Navigator/Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers use SSL). Either indicator means SSL is hard at work. (If you don't see either one, or if you see a broken key or an open lock, that means SSL is definitely not hard at work protecting your transaction.)
The easy way, you can tell if SSL is guarding your transaction is to check the URL of the site you are visiting. It should change from "http" to "https" when processing secure transactions.
For example, let's say you go to amazon.com. When you start to send your bank card and other data to them, you can choose to use a secure server. If you select that, you'll notice that the URL will change from
The extra "s" is for "secure site."