I've been using Diffie-Hellman (although, now looking into SRP) for sending data encrypted between two hosts. After the initial handshake, both the end hosts have generated the same shared secret. So, I immediately made the assumption that the shared secret can be used as a "password" in a cipher, since, I can safely assume that only the hosts will know about the secrets, and no one else. But that was purely out of my own assumption, that is without consulting anyone who is actually seasoned in information security.
I was hoping some of you can give me an idea about what to do once the shared secret has been generated. Is it a password for a cipher? Or must I take an additional step?