The internet is now the medium that everyone wants a piece of. Whether it’s to find information at the touch of a button, open your business to the global market; buy almost anything you can think of or simply watch the latest pop video; more and more people are getting online and exploiting its benefits.
But with the increase in the use of the internet, there come the enviable increase in online fraud – with the millions of online hackers using more and more sophisticated means to obtain our personal information in a bid to steal our cash and our identities.
Imagine the security risks if you had your bank statement sent to you in a see-through envelope. Anyone who saw the envelope could see your bank account details as well as your name and address. A serious case of identity fraud could then ensue. Of course this doesn’t happen as letters are hidden by solid envelopes.
However, compared to the Royal Mail, the internet is a much more vulnerable communication platform due to the amount of savvy hackers who are just waiting in the wings to try and access your personal and sensitive information.
So – what’s the answer? An SSL Certificate.
What is an SSL certificate? SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer and is a network protocol supported by all popular web browsers. SSL works by establishing a private communication channel when a user enters sensitive data into a website e.g credit card details. The information is then scrambled into a language which is impossible to decode. For SSL to work a SSL certificate issued by a Certification Authority such as Verisign or Rapid SSL must be installed on the relevant web server.
The secure process of SSL
When your request an SSL certificate from your chosen provide, you will be issued with a secret private key which needs to be kept securely on your website’s server. Once you receive your SSL certificate, it will also be installed on the web server by your webhosting company; effectively matching up the SSL certificate to the SSL key. Because the SSL key is only ever used by the web server, this process is a means of proving that the web server has permission to use the SSL certificate