What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is a method for hiding the information a web browser and a web server send to each other. When you browse a web site, you have very little privacy. Many people can monitor what you reveal to, or request from, that site. Credit card numbers, personal data, or controversial information are an open book to the technologically sophisticated eavesdropper.

SSL was designed to defeat the snoops. An SSL-enhanced browser such as Firefox, Netscape or MS Internet Explorer uses encryption to scramble the data you send to a web site into an unintelligible string of seemingly random characters. When you are on a site using SSL, the web address will always start with https (rather than just http), and depending upon the browser you are using, a small padlock icon may appear.

In addition to providing privacy, SSL was designed to answer a related question: how do you know you are really communicating with the Web site you intended? After all, someone could be intercepting all transmissions and providing a false public key for which they have the correct private key.

By default, our sites use a shared 128-bit SSL encryption. Your clients orders will be through the use of SSL and you will NOT receive the credit card information in an e-mail. You will have to login to your secured Control Panel in order to retrieve this information securely. The primary difference between a shared SSL certificate and a non-shared certificate is the display of your domain name. For example, a shared SSL site will have a name like https://www3378.ssldomain.com/cadvisor where a non-shared site would simply be https://www.cadvisor.com. Both offer the same level of security, but if the address is important to you, non-shared certificates are available for an additional fee.

Another level of security that more and more customers are demanding is a certified security seal from a third party. These seals don’t have anything to do with SSL per se, but are an indicator that your site has been tested by someone else and found to be trustworthy. Cadvisor websites have been tested by Hacker-Safe and found to be secure, but in order to tell this to your customers, you must pay for a security seal. In addition to the security seal, you can build customer trust with privacy seals and business seals, which resolve major concerns customers have about websites. They want to know who is behind your website and whether or not their information can be trusted with you. Trust-Guard verifies your information and offers all three types of seals that can be added to you website for a reasonable fee. Click on the image for more information.

1 thought on “What is SSL?

  • I always tell my merchant account services clients to make sure to put a disclaimer on their site that their shoppers need to make sure that THEY are on SSL’s themselves, not wifi hotspots or unsecured networks. It’s an important security issue that most people don’t understand.

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