Some facts must know about SSL Certification
This is something essential. I know that SSL certificate has a certain annual cost, but it is necessary. In this post I will present what HTTPS and why its use is mandatory when an E-commerce site is managed.
What is SSL?
SSL and its evolution TLS (Transport Layer Security) to encrypt and decrypt data transmitted over the internet and can securely. When SSL (or TLS for the rest I would SSL but it applies equally to both) is coupled with the HTTP protocol is referred to as HTTPS.
HTTPS is a way for a visitor to securely access a website. Through this protocol, the data passing between the client and the server can not be read or manipulated by other people. It is therefore essential for all operations where sensitive information is transferred (even for a site that offers a member area it is advisable to use SSL).
It is good to note that SSL is not only used to secure HTTP connections, it can be used for various protocols. SSL and FTP give us FTPS.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate is a type of public key certificate that will bind a key to an identity. This key is used by the process of encryption and decryption of exchanges will be made between the client and the server. In the case of HTTPS identity will be a web domain. A certificate can be signed or unsigned (or self-signed but it equates to unsigned). For example, I can create my own web certificate and use it to exchange my website. This certificate will be treated as an unsigned.
Technically using an unsigned certificate exchanges made between my site and visitors will be secure because the communications are encrypted. However, because my certificate is not signed most browsers will post a warning message indicating that the navigation on this site may not be secure.
The alternative is to get a certificate signed by a Certificate Authority (abbreviated CA). This is a service for which we must pay. It is important to understand that from a pure security standpoint, this certificate will not be more secure than a certificate that you generated yourself, but the visitor’s browser does not display a warning message on the the potential insecurity site.
Each browser has a list of CAs that is considered safe. When you buy a certificate, what you pay is trust: The browser trusts the certification authority, and it shows that your site is trustworthy. This is the problem of self-signed certificates: you say you trust and the browser says he does not know you.
But if a safety point of view the two is equal, why I would spend money for a certificate of authority? This is what we will see later!
The two types of security
There are two types of security: security perceived and real security. Take the example of a house or an apartment, the Closing the door does not increase security, anyone could open the door and enter the house. However, a person who passes will assume that the door is locked so that the house is protected while it is not the case. It is a perceived safety. The real security is that to lock the door.
On a website, real security is important. It should not be overlooked, especially on E-commerce sites where the slightest mistake can have serious repercussions. The end user will not surrender account security efforts that have been done in the background, especially when the safety works! That’s when the security more than the user makes working the problems that there is! You can take geotrust ssl for your buyer data protection.
On some sites the perceived safety is not very important: when I look at the results of the last football game I do not care about the security put in place by the website.
It is different for sites in which financial transactions can be made. The process of buying a site of E-Commerce can be summarized as:
- Convince the customer that the product worth the expense (on your website)
- Convince the user that he can trust you (on the purchase, processing the order, invoice,)
The perceived security plays a very important role in the second stage of the buying process. If a visitor decides to make a purchase on your site, everything must go in the direction of this decision. The visitor should not hesitate or feel threatened. Having the browser indicating that the security of the site may not be optimal is an obstacle that should not be exposed, it is a huge argument to induce him to abandon his purchase.
Personally I know I never used to purchase on a site where this kind of message is this, and I hope you have the same approach!
Even if the payment is made through a third party (PayPal or other online payment) you must reassure the potential buyer. You must show that the security of their data is a problem that is important to you.
The SSL certificate is not a point that needs to save money, and if you think that spend high to get one is too expensive compared to your income, then your site E-commerce no place to be!
Acquire a certificate (the simplest solution)
Once you have realized that you need a SSL certificate is your E-commerce site, the next step is to acquire. This step can be quite difficult in some settings.
If you use a shared hosting for your website, I highly recommend you go through your hosting company to install the certificate. Most hosts offer it. While this is generally a little more expensive than buying directly the certificate to the certificate authority, but they are less problems and especially a time saver! If you do not have a unique IP address you will probably have to pay a little more to get one.