SSL Certificates

An SSL certificate is required for ecommerce websites. However some have used the technique of applying an SSL to their website as part of their online stratergy. Whatever the case may be, BSO can help you purchase and install your SSL certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”. It is the industry standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link makes sure that all data passed between the web server and the browsers remains private and integral. Used by millions of websites, SSL Certificates protect the online transactions of customers. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server needs an SSL Certificate.

You are asked a number of questions about your website and company when activating SSL on your site. Your website is then be able to create two cryptographic keys – a Private Key and a Public Key.

The Public Key is not secret. It is contained in Certificate Signing Request – or CSR – a data file containing your details. You then submit the CSR as part of the SSL process. During this application process, the Certification Authority will validate your details and issue an SSL Certificate containing your details and allowing you to use SSL. Your Website will match your issued SSL Certificate to your Private Key. Your website will then be able to establish encrypted links between the site and your customers’ web browsers.

How do SSL Certificates Work?

Of course, all these complexities are hidden to your customers. Their browsers simply show them the key indicating that they are protected on your site by an SSL encrypted session.

When a customer accesses your site, their browser begins a “handshaking” procedure. During this process, your website and the customer’s browser agree on many parameters to establish your website’s security. The browser retrieves your site’s SSL certificate and checks for expiry. The browser also checks the SSL Certificate is issued by a Certification Authority the browser trusts. It also checks the SSL certificate is being used by the website for which it has been issued.

This then concludes the handshake and the customer’s browser begins the secured connection. However, if it cannot find any of these checks the browser will display a warning to let your customer know that they are using an unsecured site.

Why do I need an SSL Certificate?

If you don’t plan to use a third party site, like Paypal, for your online store or eCommerce site, then you absolutely should have an SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates are essential in eCommerce and for any site that wishes to sell goods online. Firstly, they show your customers that you are a safe, secure website they can trust with their sensitive data. Most online shoppers are very cautious and you want them to feel safe on your site. Secondly, the SSL Certificate ensures that sensitive data – credit cards, banking and personal details – is safely encrypted. As a result, customer data cannot be intercepted and stolen.

Finally, a secure login form ensures your customers’ passwords and usernames are protected from hackers. Many customers use the same passwords for several sites and this could compromise them on many other important accounts. At BSO, we are happy to help you purchase, install and manage your SSL Certificates. Feel free to contact us for more information for your online store or eCommerce website.