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What Is SSL and Why Does Your Site Need It? –
CBS Has the Trusted Answer from GeoTrust

The SSL (and TLS - Transport Layer Security) protocol is THE Web standard for encrypting communications between users and any E-commerce sites that feature SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). All confidential data sent using an SSL connection are kept private by a cryptographic mechanism that prevents eavesdropping and tampering with the transmitted data.

The SSL protocol assures businesses and consumers that any of their confidential data, such as credit card numbers or other sensitive information, that's sent to a Web site, are kept private.

In order to initialize an SSL session, a Web server certificate (also known as a Secure Server Certificate or SSL certificate) is required. GeoTrust is one of the best names in the SSL business. And CBS offers GeoTrust SSL certificates and data privacy protection at some of the most competitive prices in the country.

Customers know when they are beginning an SSL session with a website because their browser displays the little gold padlock. In addition, the address bar begins with the designation "https" rather than "http." SSL certificates can be used on web servers for Internet security and on mail servers such as IMAP, POP3 and SMTP for mail collection and sending security.

How Does the SSL Process Work?

Some of the applications that are configured to run SSL include the most popular Web browsers – Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. In addition, E-mail programs like Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora and Outlook and Outlook Express, along with SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) programs are also configured so that they can automatically receive SSL connections.

Some secure browser-to-Web-server communications include financial and personal:

  • Sign-up pages
  • User/Member login pages
  • E-commerce sites
  • Banking applications
  • Web access to E-mail
  • Sensitive business information, from business partners, remote offices, etc.

Establishing a secure SSL connection requires that your application first have an encryption key assigned to it by a Certification Authority in the form of an SSL Certificate. Once this application has a unique key of its own, you can establish a secure connection using the SSL protocol.

SSL Certification - a Brief History

In the early days of the World Wide Web, 40-bit keys were used with each bit being able to contain a one or a zero. That meant that there were 240 unique keys available. This translates to a little over one trillion distinct keys.

Over the years, the speed of computers continued to increase rapidly. Thus, it soon became apparent that a 40-bit key might not be secure enough. It was conceivable that, given the high-end processors that likely would become available in the future, it was only a matter of time until hackers could eventually try every key until they found the proper combination. This could allow them to decrypt and access private data. While it could take quite a bit of time, it was indeed possible.

As a result of this concern, the key possibilities were lengthened to 128 Bits. That's 2128 key combinations, or more than 340 trillion unique encryption codes. Going forward, even if computers keep advancing in speed, these 128-bit codes should remain secure for many years to come.

SSL Certification and Today's Consumers

Consumers have lots of concerns when conducting transactions online. Seeing the SSL padlock from a trusted brand, like GeoTrust, when passing confidential information on the Web helps to ease those concerns.

In addition, today's Web browsers automatically notify users when their new connections are insecure. Your company's E-commerce customers are used to secure shopping. As a consequence, many of your potential buyers won't send their private information unless their browser assures them that it is safe to do so!

Without the stated assurance of secure SSL Encryption, many of your valuable and naturally cautious customers will simply choose to shop elsewhere. You cannot offer secure authentication to your customers without a valid SSL Certificate.

Give us a call to establish a secure site.

SSL Certificates
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