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SSL Certificates: What Are They and How Do I Get One?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL certificates are all about security. This level of security is important if you are running or want to run an e-commerce website or blog.

Whenever you make an online purchase, look at the URL address bar before you enter your credit card details. It should have “https” instead of “HTTP” in front of the URL address. The “S” means the site is secure.

When you make your purchase and enter your credit card information, it is sent into cyberspace over the Internet. When a particular page on a website designed for e-commerce is secure, it means that all the information is encrypted making it very difficult for hackers to grab onto. Always check for the “https” before you enter account or credit card details.

Having a recognized secure site means a great deal to the consumer. It’s to your benefit to have a SSL certificate for your website if accepting credit cards.

How Do You Acquire a SSL Certificate?

Certificates can be obtained from a number of websites. The costs vary from free to $4500.00. Correspondingly, you don’t get much for free and protection is far greater with more reputable dealers.

When you apply for a certificate, there is a verification procedure which is the purpose of the SSL in the first place. The certifying website has to do its due diligence to check the validity of the website and its owners.

There are millions of websites and I hate to tell you but some are frauds and are set up just to get your money one way or another. This is why the issuing companies run a complete and thorough check on you, your business and your website.

When you have a certificate issued, the consumer knows that you have been through a verification process. This gives them some reassurance when purchasing goods or services from you.

The free sites you may find to issue your SSL certificate may only confirm your email address or they may verify the owner’s name. Not much of a verification process, you think?

Also, not every issuer has a warranty. This is coverage in the case of an error in verification. If they issue a SSL certificate to a fraudulent website and damages are incurred by a customer as a result, this warranty is for protection should that occur.

If you aren’t ready to have your own SSL certificate, using payment accepting services such as PayPal may be all you need at the present time. But if you are planning on having a fairly large e-commerce website, it is best practice to have in the place the added security. This is what having a SSL certificate can provide.