Understanding SSL Certificates

Jun, 09, 2011 | Online Security | 0 Comments

The power and potential of the internet is so vast and incredible that offers you as a business owner the potential to reach millions of new customers. In this day and age, businesses that choose not to have a website are putting themselves at serious risk and disadvantage – customers and clients want and expect you to have an online presence and a web-based source of information and access.

Increasingly, people turn to the internet when making their purchases and engaging with various service providers. As it is possible and common for financial transactions to take place and be finalised over the internet, the need for security around these transactions is all the more vital.

Many of us can relate to the sense of trepidation and hesitancy that can come with entering your credit card details online. We want to be positive that our financial information is going to a trustworthy and credible source and that the financial details we provide will be treated with the privacy and security that they warrant. More and more people understandably want to be assured that their private information will be kept securely and safely.

In light of this, businesses that enable online transactions have an incredible responsibility to their customers. As well as thinking about domain names, website design and functionality and matters including the capacity and effectiveness of dedicated servers, business owners must also turn their attention to secure ways of undertaking and completing web-based transactions. Offering customers a robust and consistently secure way of completing transactions not only builds the trust of customers in your business but can also help to create more revenue as the possibility of adding more and more services online is realised.

For this reason, it is necessary for businesses to have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates that protect their websites. Essentially, SSL certificates serve to:

  • Authenticate the server to the client
  • Provide encryption between the server and the client.

A computer SSL certificate is comprised of a valid URL, a date of expiry and details of the issuing authority bu in order to understand a little about SSL certificates, it is useful to know a little about digital certificates. Digital certificates are issued by a Certification Authority and serve as electronic files that enable identification of people and resources over the web. Using encryption, digital certificates make it possible for two parties to share private, secure and confidential information. Although it may be a simplistic approach, think of a digital certificate as being like a passport – a credible, trusted and valuable way of establishing identity.

What about SSL?

SSL is a type and process for security over the internet that may be considered the standard for secure web-based communications and transactions. The importance of SSL is so great that it has been implemented in all major web browsers and web servers.

Digital certificates are critical to SSL technology, as the digital certificates serve as a secure and confidential communications channel that spans two businesses or individuals. The incredible benefit and advantage of this is that if an attempt is made to interfere or tamper with data, the two parties are immediately notified of this attempt.

Data security is an incredibly important consideration when operating a website, particularly when it has capability for financial transactions to take place. Thankfully, sophisticated security is available in the form of SSL and this technology is immensely valuable not only in providing security of data but in the way that it can allay the concerns of both purchasers and website owners.

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