This year I did ALL my Christmas shopping online. Every single gift for every single person was shipped to my front door like Santa himself had dropped them off. I didn’t have to wait in lines. I didn’t have to fight over the last Xbox Kinect. I didn’t have to deal with cashiers who were tired of dealing with the masses. I didn’t even have to do my hair or put on a decent outfit…it was the best Christmas shopping (and maybe a little extra shoe shopping) I have ever done…by far! With all the offers for free shipping, deep discounts, one day sales, and more, I simply couldn’t find a reason to turn off my laptop and get off my couch. (Yes my email is full of ads that really do entice me to shop more, save less.) My new resolution is to never have to visit a brick and mortar store for Christmas shopping again.
Because of the increase in online shopping during this season, we ran a promotion on SSL certificate pricing and found that many people didn’t know what SSL Certificates are and how they benefit online businesses, so I thought I’d explain.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layers, which are used to protect private information such as client details, credit card numbers, and emails. When you send information over the internet, all that information can potentially be seen by people other than the recipient. However, using an SSL certificate encrypts the data and protects you and your customers from intruders stealing information.
These days there are many different providers and levels of SSL certificates. When a site has an SSL certificate, there are a few things that show up. In regards to most SSL certificates first you’ll notice the “http://” found in the browser address bar will change to “https://”on secure pages. You’ll notice this on most sites when you are shopping online and begin the checkout process. Next, in Internet Explorer you’ll also notice a padlock icon in the browser address bar, when you are on a secure page. If you click on the padlock, you’ll actually be able to view the certificate and company details. In Firefox, the certificate is displayed prior to the URL in the browser address bar. You can also click on that and expand upon the certificate details.
The best security certificate on the market currently is the Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate. This is what Amazon, PayPal, and EBay all use today. The certificate authorities who issue these EV SSL certificates verify the following:
- The legal identity of the business
- The operational and physical presence of the website owner
- The domain name owner and their exclusive control of that domain name
- The identity and authority of individuals acting for the website owner
- The legal documentation is signed by an authorized officer
As Comodo states, “The green address bar, exclusive to EV SSL certificates, assures website visitors that they are transacting on a highly trusted and secured domain. This type of visual assurance helps e-merchants increase trust, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and build revenue.”
Because I shop online so often these days, looking for a secure site where my data isn’t compromised is an absolute priority. Make sure you do the same!
Applied Innovations has a partnered with Comodo for a number of years now and because of our partnership we can offer all of our hosting clients discounts on their SSL certificates. Please contact our sales department (firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-706-8691) if you’d like to learn more.
Happy Shopping & Happy Holidays!