SSL Certificates

Complete information on SSL certificates
SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificates are a valuable asset to any business with an Internet presence. They allow customers to make online purchases with confidence that their information is safe. Primarily, these certificates, issued by a certification authority, establish a unique encrypted electronic signature for the business. This ensures that any information transmitted from the business to a financial clearinghouse or bank is reliable. The data, sent through an encrypted packet, uses separate secure SSL certificates between servers. The higher-level certificate provides another layer of security during the transmission. The data is most vulnerable during transmission so this extra layer of security is necessary.

Verisign created the five classes or levels of security in use today. The lowest class is used by individuals in their e-mail accounts and so forth, and the highest class is used by governments all over the world. In fact, Verisign was the first certification authority, although there are other reliable authorities in business today as well. Every certification authority uses this classification system.

Obtaining an SSL Certificate
You must first acquire an electronic signature from a certification authority to get an SSL certificate. Various companies, such as Komodo, broker certificates and maintain their security. They are available in a range of prices, from free SSL certificates for a trial period to cheap SSL certificates for medium-level businesses to full-priced SSL certificates for businesses with heavy traffic. Web hosting and SSL certificates are often bundled in a package for e-commerce companies.

The application for an SSL certificate takes little time to complete. There is always a fee. Gaining an SSL certificate through an intermediary is as much a licensing agreement as it is gaining a security certificate. Any reliable provider will offer to test SSL certificates as part of your setup, to ensure that your certificates and software work properly.

You can create your own free SSL certificate, but it is a time-consuming process. Your computer will be vulnerable during testing as well. An SSL certificate company provides testing while protecting your system. Furthermore, a certificate company provides continuous upgrades to security. Security upgrades of this magnitude would require that an individual business hire a full-time employee to do nothing but monitor security. This measure, for most businesses, is not cost-effective in today’s economic landscape.

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