Whether for superstitious reasons or just to avoid the inevitable groans, experts in data security were long reluctant to use a certain, pertinent pun. But now it can be officially uttered: SET is set.

Secure Electronic Transactions, the Internet payment protocol hashed out by MasterCard, Visa, and a sometimes unruly bunch of technology providers, went up on the card associations' Web sites in June in what was labeled as its final form.

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