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Choosing the Correct SSL Certification Level for Your Business Website

Owners of businesses who operate on the web know they need a security certificate. The security certificates let visitors know they can trust a site. Modern browsers will check for a certificate. If the browser does not detect any SSL certificates, it will ask the user if he wants to visit a website with an invalid certificate. Many users will allow the browser to succeed, if they trust the source. If they do not trust the source, the user will prevent the browser from connecting to the website. Business owners need a secure, private certificate that is authenticated by a third party service. The last part is optional, but it lets a user know that a site has done as much as it can to protect the users data.

Before a user can understand why he needs the authenticated certificate, he needs to understand how the process works. SSL certificates contain a public and private key. The public key is shared by the website with the user’s browser. The key contains the encryption data for the private key. The browser and the server will negotiate the connection once a certificate is verified. The process takes only a few seconds. Website visitors are seldom aware of this process taking place. They usually do not need to know how the process works.

A 3rd party authentication service adds an additional layer of security to all SSL certificates. The process happens as described above, but a third party will confirm that the public and private keys are good. It adds a few nanoseconds onto a page load time occasionally, but a user will not notice the process. The information is reported to the browser a person uses to access a website, however. Customers will know if a company is using a third party SSL certification service if they seek out a website’s security information.

A valid certificate is sometimes misreported as invalid certificates to a person’s computer. This usually happens when the date on a computer is off or has not been set properly. A browser may block a site sometimes because of this. Tech savvy Internet users know to check their system date before not visiting a website. All modern operating systems include an ability to synchronize with an Internet time server. The ability to synchronize with an Internet time server prevents this problem after Windows, Linux or the Apple OS loads.

Choosing the correct SSL certification for your business is a matter of finding a certificate and a third party verification service to back it up. Search engines make this task extremely easy. Verisign is one of the most popular 3rd party verification systems currently in use.