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SSL: Protecting Your Website and Customers   2 comments

Sep 6, 2016 @ 8:47am Web hosting

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SSL certificates are crucial for websites that offer anything for sale as they provide a level of privacy and security that is necessary to ensure that customers are comfortable shopping there. In fact, many people will simply leave their full shopping cart in your virtual aisle and refuse to purchase anything from your website if they realize that it does not have an SSL certificate.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to transmit private information online in a manner that keeps it private. Customers will know that any information that they provide you is being kept safe from prying eyes if https:// precedes your website address, and a lock icon is located to the left of it. Banks and other major financial institutions have used SSL certificates, which were initially developed by Netscape in 1994, for some time.

 

How Does It Work?

The data that is being sent is immediately encrypted, causing somebody attempting to hack into it to not be able to read it as all they will see is an undecipherable list of letters and numbers. The information will then arrive on the recipient’s end after being unencrypted into its original form so that it can be read and utilized as was originally intended.

Data being sent without the use of SSL certificates could either be hijacked by a hacker and then used for their usually nefarious purposes or it could even be altered en route to its destination without the sender or the recipient realizing that any changes had been made to it.

These digital certificates also ensure that the personal and private data is being sent to the secure site it’s supposed to go to and not being diverted to one that could be malicious.

 

It Works Both Ways

Any information that those running a website send to interested parties is also encrypted when using SSL certificates. These can include newsletters, promotional codes and vouchers as well as any information that you send during the purchasing process that you want to ensure is not intercepted and stolen or altered en route.

 

Indirect Benefits

Using SSL certificates is a wonderful way to increase your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). In 2014, Google announced that it will be giving rankings boosts to websites using this layer of protection. Although having this level of trust in your website is not going to impact the search engine results as much as the quality of your content, it will give you a leg up as far as search engine results go when competing against otherwise similar websites. Google may also increase its importance down the line.

 

Differences

Single certificates cover one domain name. Wildcard certificates are valid for one domain name and any subdomains underneath it. Multi-domain certificates are good for multiple domain names.

Domain validation certificates offer the most basic level of protection; they cover basic encryption and verify that the person whose name or email address is associated with the website has control over it. However, they do not verify exactly who this individual or company is or how much control he or she has over the website’s content or where information sent through it actually goes.

Organization validation certificates provide a more thorough validation process by checking on the applicant’s credentials and doing things like making sure the individual or company’s physical address matches up with the application and that they have a legal right to own and run that website. Businesses should at the very least use this certificate as domain validation certificates just do not provide the safety and trust that is usually necessary.

Extended validation certificates are the ones that offer the most security as a thorough examination is conducted before it is provided, assuring visitors that the individual or company being represented is accurate and that the entity possesses the rights necessary to operate that website. These certificates should be used by any websites that ask customers to provide especially sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

 

Which Certificate to Get?

Websites that garner a low level of traffic and do not ask visitors for information more personal than usernames and passwords can use domain validation certificates. A couple of the main benefits of going this route is that these certificates are more affordable and issued much more quickly.

However, if you are or will be receiving a decent amount of traffic or asking your visitors for any financial information or other sensitive date such as addresses, telephone numbers or social security numbers, you should at least get an organization validation certificate.

The extended validation certificates do provide the most protection and trust, but they are also the most expensive and take the longest to receive. Medium to large organizations tend to be the ones most apt to purchase these, but you should definitely consider it if you are or plan to be in one of those categories.

At TurnKey Internet we offer SSL certificates on all of our hosting plans as well as include a free SSL with every Reseller and SEO package. If you have any questions regarding which SSL solution is right for you or how to get started, feel free to email our support team (helpdesk@turnkeyinternet.net)

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Written by David Maurer on September 6th, 2016

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2 Responses to 'SSL: Protecting Your Website and Customers'

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  1. Thank you, This is the best article I have ever come across,
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  2. […] be running e-commerce software or selling things on your site. If so, you will need to have an SSL for your site, which in turn requires a unique dedicated […]

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