What is SSL? A Quick Look at Online Security

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer,” and it is a standard security technology that is used to encrypt the connection between a webserver and a browser. SSL is typically used on websites that require the transfer of sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, logins, or personal information. Each website that is secured with SSL receives an SSL Certificate, which is a small data file that assigns a cryptographic key to an organization. When a company links an SSL Certificate to its website, the padlock icon appears in the browser, next to the website’s name, and the protocol changes to “https” instead of “http”.

How do SSL Certificates work?

SSL Certificates are based on public key cryptography, which is a type of cryptography that uses two randomly generated series of numbers, one called the public key, and one called the private key. The public key is used to encrypt the message, and the private key is used to decrypt it. When the information is entered on your website, it is encrypted using your public key. Then, as it is transferred from the website to the server, it is unreadable by anyone other than its intended recipient. If a hacker where to intercept the information, it would be impossible for him to decipher it without the appropriate private key.

The benefits of SSL

Besides ensuring that all of your clients’ data is secure as it reaches your servers, an SSL can also increase your Google search rankings. In an effort to improve the security of the internet, Google rewards websites that have SSL certification. You will also help build customer trust, since the SSL Certificate is visible in the browser. Of course, this can translate to higher conversion rates for online businesses, since clients are more willing to share their credit card information with businesses that are secure.

How to purchase an SSL certificate

An SSL certificate may be purchased separately from a Certificate Authority, or it may be provided by your website host or merchant account provider. It’s important to find a company that is trusted within the wider digital community, because you may purchase an SSL Certificate which does not work with certain operating systems, browsers and mobile devices. Each one of these platforms has a root certificate, which must match the SSL Certificate. Otherwise, visitors will receive an error message when visiting your website, which explicitly tells then that your website is not to be trusted.

All in all, purchasing an SSL Certificate is very important for your bottom line. If you own an e-commerce store, you will turn around many potential customers who do not feel safe sharing their personal data with you, unless you are SSL protected. Even if you have a small website with a digital store, the “https” protocol can help you increase sales. After all, even a credit card data theft on a small purchase can lead to costly damages.

For more information on SSL Certificates, or to open a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.

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