Why Do I Need SSL?
This article explains
what an SSL certificate is and why your ecommerce
web site needs it. SSL certificates can provide
online security and peace of mind for you and online
Many people, when starting up a business Web
site, do no realize that they need more than just a
site with goods and services and a way for
customers to pay for them. One of the most
important things that you will put on your ecommerce
Web site is an SSL certificate. Getting SSL is very
important if you plan to sell merchandise and
services online – especially if you want to be able
to accept credit cards and other methods of payment
over the Internet. SSL will help your credibility and it will protect your customers.
What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a type of protocol
that adds a level of security to online
transactions. You get a security certificate that
helps protect the personal payment information that
customers enter on your Web site. When the customer
enters information for payment, it is sent over the
Internet to be approved by the bank. While this
information in transit, unscrupulous people can
intercept it and then make use of it. Credit card
numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account
numbers (for eChecks and direct withdrawals) are
sent over the Internet everyday. And identity
thieves are just waiting to get this information.
In order to keep private information from
fraudsters, SSL encrypts it. Using a special
process, the SSL certificate turns that information
into random letters, numbers and symbols. When
someone intercepts it, the information looks garbled
and useless. In addition to turning sensitive
information into useless information, the SSL
certificate also issues a key that can decode the
message. Only the program or server that has the
proper key can turn the useless information back
into usable payment information. There are different
levels of security used for a SSL certificate. Right
now, the highest level (and the most expensive) is
256 bit encryption. Most ecommerce Web sites,
however, use 128 bit encryption. 40 bit encryption
is the least expensive, and can still be effective.
An SSL license costs money – between $10 and $1,500 a year,
depending on the security level you choose and
whether you share a SSL certificate with someone
else, or whether you get a dedicated certificate.
You can usually get pretty good SSL verification and
encryption for around $500 to $800 a year. If you
use this for your business Web site, it is an
expense that you can use as a deduction on your
taxes. However, SSL is important, even necessary, if
you are serious about running a business online.
Why your ecommerce Web site needs SSL
Most Internet shoppers want to know that their
information is safe. They are providing you with
very personal, very important information that
allows access to their money. If it falls into the
wrong hands, it can be devastating. Your customers
want to know that you value their privacy and their
security. One way that they can see that you are
serious about protecting them is to have an SSL
certificate. This shows them that you send encrypted
information, and they will be more comfortable
shopping on your Web site.
Another thing that an SSL certificate provides is
verify your identity. There are many scam artists
out there that set up Web sites that look
legitimate, but that are not. These Web sites steal
information when would-be customers try to make
payments. An SSL certificate authenticates the
business as well. Your Web site is verified as
secure, and you are shown to be who you say you are.
Like knowing their information is encrypted, knowing
that you are a viable business and that you have
been cleared by the certificate issuer can provide
peace of mind for customers.
When you sell products and services online, you
want to reach a large number of people. You also
want them to be able to easily and conveniently pay
you. Since most online shoppers turn to the Internet
for convenience, they need to be able to pay
immediately. However, there are a lot of scary
people in cyberspace waiting to steal valuable
information. You want your customers to feel safe
and secure doing business with you. Even though it
costs money to get a SSL certificate, it is an
important step to take in your online business.
Without it, you are likely to lose customers and
find your sales and revenues falling.