Steps to Secure Your Website With a SSL Certificate
To protect your customers’ data on your website, you'll need a SSL certificate. SSL or “secure sockets layer” technology encrypts all communication between web browsers and website servers. Many users are now familiar with the small green “lock” symbol that appears in their browser address bar when a site is protected by SSL and uses the “https” rather than plain-text “http” protocol. For consumers and businesses alike, SSL provides a sense of security — but many companies aren’t sure how to make the leap from standard links to secure layers.
Before you complete a SSL certificate setup, it’s worth knowing a bit about the technology. First, the registered domain name for which you're acquiring the certificate must be owned or controlled by you. At its most basic, SSL protection works to obscure data sent to your site from web browsers. “Keys” are used — a public key that any browser can access when navigating to your site, and a private key that only your company knows. The information exchanged between servers and browsers is encrypted using the keys so that your server can decrypt it, but malicious actors cannot. These keys are purchased from a trusted certificate authority.
When your SSL is up and running, make your certificate highly visible to let customers know your site is secure. While a lock icon will appear in the address bar, not every shopper looks there, so it’s worth adding similar icons to every page, along with any verification symbols offered by your certificate authority.
This and other steps on how to set up a SSL certificate are outlined in the accompanying checklist.
SSL Certificate Setup was created by virtual private cloud hosting solutions company SingleHop.
TJ Waldorf is the vice president of inside sales and marketing at SingleHop.