If you see the little locked icon in your address bar, you should sleep easy in the knowledge that the only other party to view your communications was the web site
Utter nonsense. Yes, that's supposed to be how it works, but in the real world, it's simply not true. The obvious example is 3-D Secure, as used by banks here in the UK (and elsewhere?). You go to a web site, fill your cart and go to the checkout. You enter your credit card details, because the lock icon is present and you're confident that it's not a scam site. Then you're sent to a secondary authentication page. The lock icon is still showing everything's good. But what you're seeing is actually an iframe pointing to an entirely different site (in my case, hopefully it's LloydsTSB ClickSafe). But the padlock icon has nothing to do with this site, and thus offers no guarantees that the connection is secure, or that the page is being served by an entity that you trust. As a technically adept user, I can (and do) explicitly check the certificate of the iframe. But I'm in a very, very small minority. It's trivially easy for a phishing site to show a valid padlock throughout the entire transaction.
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