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What is SSL and Why Does My Online Business Need it?

Updated on June 30, 2011

Why Your Business & Ecommerce Site Must have SSL

When working online, either as a website owner or simply as someone that has to consistently input their private accounting information, security is vital. Without proper site security all manner of important financial and personal information can be hi-jacked by modern day computer pirates that will either use this information or sell it to anyone they can pawn it off on.

To keep information safe online it must be encrypted in such a way that any would be spyware and malware does not have the capacity to simply copy it. While there is little you can do if you input your information on a site that is itself a scam, you can fight information piracy by having secure sockets layer encryption installed on your sites.

An important things to look for when you input your information online is the link you are about to click, or have already clicked. If the site address begins with https then it is supposed to be encrypted and secure. Any site that claims that it is secure or encrypted should have this. If it does not then you should immediately suspect the possibility of a scam in the making.

How Does SSL Work?

Exactly how does ssl protect you and your would-be customers or referrals from information piracy? There are three basic steps the process goes through in any truly protected website.

The first step begins at the most basic level. At this level the security check begins. Generally this will be a HTTP, IMAP, or FTP protocol. HTTP is for general websites. IMAP is for mailing services. FTP is for file transferring.

Once the type of terminal language is determined the next step is the ssl layer. At this level the one interested in viewing the site will be informed if the security information does not match up with the domain information via their browser. Sometimes an error may be caused by the browser itself, but generally this is a warning sign to be very careful on this site.

Once beyond this step the actual encryption process for the transaction begins. This is in some ways similar to a secret club handshake or a military call sign. No one outside of the club or that military command will know exactly what it means even if they could determine that such a secret exists.

This is all done primarily to make certain that none of the data is changed in the transaction process. This protects both parties in this transaction.

With all of this in mind, you can begin to decipher just which secure socket layer type you wish to add to your site or would prefer working through if a freelancer. Online businesses of all types need a secure transaction point to solidify customer relations and build trust with their clients.

Security Solutions with SSL certs

There are many security solutions. If you wish to readily garner an ssl for your site then you could readily use a company like Verisign, Thawte, or Komodo. These are currently the best known companies for generating secure websites. Or if you want to try an SSL cert on your ecommerce site, then SSL resellers like like offer free SSL certificates for typically a month, for this evaluation purpose

However, you must make certain that your hosting solution can meet their differing requirements. Generally most website hosts are more than capable of merging with either of these third-party vendor solutions.

If you would prefer a more customized and detailed approach you can write your own security script. However, unless you already have intimate knowledge of this type of programming language then you would be better suited by hiring a true professional that is capable of performing your task swiftly and with the efficiency you desire.

The downside to the latter solution is that it is not backed by a well known name and some would-be customers may see this as a reason to avoid your site, despite cutting edge ssl security.

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