SSL Certificate – what is that? Why I need it?

SSL Certificate - what is that? Why I need it?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer: cryptographic protocols which provide encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.
This protocol protects your information, and carries it over the Internet in an encrypted format. SSL ensures that any information sent will remain unchanged and will be sent to a server to which you have defined to reach.

This article is a part of How to do (start) online business by myself and will explain:

Why you need SSL certificate?
E-commerce sites frequently use SSL technology for secure transmission of information regarding credit cards.
Actually this is rather a must and most of the payment gateways (the official Credit Card processors) will require SSL certificate in order to provide you with their service.

Even there are some payment processors that will allow payments without valid SSL, any customer who reaches HTTPS site without correctly issued certificate will see something like this in his browser: SSL error message

Be sure that like 98% of the visitors will virtually ‘turn away’ from your site.

I am not going to dive into the technical part of the SSL installation, but I will cover the most important stages.

Purchase SSL certificate

You can purchase SSL certificate from your hosting company, or directly from Certificate Authority. The certificate authority will ask you for so called CSR file which must be generated on the server where the certificate will be installed.

The most known Certificate issuers are:

GeoTrust

Verisign

Thawte

Comodo

RapidSSL

Personally I prefer creeper certificates like:

Trustico

Approve SSL certificate

While you fill the certificate there is one important field (most of the companies are providing drop-down menu with specific mails options, like secure@yourdomain.com , admin@yourdomain.com, etc) which is called ‘Approver mail’. You have to set a valid existing mail address on which you will receive an e-mail which will require certificate purchase approval.
When the SSL is approved, the issuer will send it to you and you can provide it to the server administrators for SSL installation.

More information about SSL you may find in one of my colleagues articles called: SSL explanation.

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Anthony Gee About the Author: Anthony G. is an IT specialist with more than 9 years of solid working experience in the Web Hosting industry. Currently works as server support administrator, involved in consultative discussions about Web Hosting and server administration. One of the first writers in the Onlinehowto.net website, now writing for Free Tutorials community - he is publishing tutorials and articles for the wide public, as well as specific technical solutions.

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