In the world of ecommerce, security is very important. Millions of online consumers are in fear about the possibility of being subjected to fraud when they do their shopping online; that is the reason why most of them want to be assured that they are indeed safe from such threats. SSL certificates are used as part of the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol to provide a secure way to transfer encrypted data between the client and his server; in this case it is between the website owner and the dedicated server that he uses.
The SSL certificate has the information about the website owner. The owner has acquired this SSL certificate from a reliable Certificate Authority (CA). Because the website owner has the certificate this can only mean that he was able to prove their identity as a user and that their website is properly secured and can be trusted by those who will use it. A website that has received the signed certificate from the CA is listed on the CA’s public access list, people who want to verify the website’s claim of being SSL certified can just look at the list. Users often will not do transactions with a website that has non-authenticated certificates.
In today’s world, most of the time our secret communications are secured if you have taken the right precautions, but it was not always this way. In 1994, Netscape Communications, an independent company who is best known for its web browser, in their effort to address the growing need for Internet security developed the SSL and the certificate for securing online communication. If you are curious how hackers can listen in before the installation of the security protocol, it goes all the way back to 1994. Starting then, an employee with some technical know-how could easily download software that would allow him or her to see their co-employees’ activity while surfing the web. It is a scary prospect of knowing that your messages are being intercepted and read.
Netscape recognized the importance of guarding these private conversations on the internet. Netscape invented an internet version of a secret decoder, adding to the complication of the process of developing that it needs to be accessible at the individual level. Messages needed to be encrypted in such a way that only the final recipient can read the message intended for him/her. Netscape named their new personalized secret decoder as Secure Socket Layers or SSL for short. But at this point Netscape did not come up with SSL certificates yet. Now at present, the only way to get an SSL certificate as previously mentioned above is to get it from a reliable Certificate Authority.
How to know what certificate would be right for your website? Here is some information about them:
• Domain SSL Certificate (Class 2). For those who have less than 50 transactions in a month this is the right certificate to choose. Choose a Domain SSL if your website exchanges any personal data with your visitor.
• Standard SSL Certificate (Class 3). If you are a medium sizeecommerce site with 50 to 250 web sales per month, this is the right certificate for you. Before acquiring a Standard SSL Certificate, the domain as well as the individual and organization that owns the website need to be verified.
• Wildcard SSL Certificate. Similar to the Standard SSL Certificate, but the difference is the Wildcard SSL allows you to cover sub domains or multiple different locations within the same website.
• Extended Validation SSL Certificate (EV). Needs the highest level of validation.
• Needs to verify whether your organization is legally registered and is active.
• Verifies the contact number as well as the physical address of your organization.
• Verifies that your organization has exclusive right to use the domain stated in the EV certificate.
• Verifies that the person ordering the certificate has been authorized by their organization.
• Verifies that the organization is not one included on the government’s blacklist thus not a high risk for phishing.
What is an HTTPS? Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is a secure version of the HTTP or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. HTTPS is necessary to allow secure ecommerce transactions such as those who do online banking. A web browser displays a padlock icon to indicate that the website is secure aside from the displayed HTTPS in the address bar. When a user connects to a secure website, this website encrypts the session with the use of a digital certificate.
Finally, with the booming internet trends and fraud, most people or companies will not submit their private details on the internet to anybody that they know who is not securely transmitted. An SSL certificate is needed more in the business sector where the vulnerability could lead to a leak of important private data. An SSL Certificate holds value for your online business and your customers. If your site is not protected, a conscious shopper will definitely drop his purchase from your website and go to another who is more trustworthy.