Before SSL was first used in the mid-90s, ensuring privacy in online transactions was virtually impossible. People simply did not trust business establishments’ ability to conduct transactions online. They feared that their personal information could be picked up after a transaction. SSL changed all that.
SSL is an encryption-based Internet Protocol that sends personal data online. This includes credit card information. This encryption process makes the data useless to someone with no decoding abilities. SSL secures privacy, authenticity, and integrity of data in internet communications. Netscape used SSL to send sensitive data over the web beginning in 1995.
Each time a browser connects to a website using SSL, the transfer of data is encrypted and secure. You will notice a lock symbol in your URL field which means, you are protected when the site you are on uses SSL.
When using SSL, if a third party captures your credit card information, the information would be useless to them.
How to get SSL?
For you to have SSL for your website, get an SSL certificate first. This certificate is installed in your web server and allows you to retrieve the security functionality of your server. This makes your customers aware that your site is safe.
Now you may ask, what is an SSL Certificate for?
SSL certificates are tiny data files that bind cryptographic keys to a company’s information. This certificate verifies the user’s authenticity and secures server to browser arrangements. Its use gives a certain level of trust. Today, a lot of consumers are so tech-savvy that they refuse to use an online retailer that does not have SSL certification. Simply put, if you want customers to trust your online business, you should have it SSL certified.
Uses of SSL
SSL is vital because:
- It is used to secure online credit card transactions.
- It is used to protect system logins.
- It secures sensitive information that is exchanged online.
- It will protect applications like Outlook Web Access, Exchange, and Office Communication Server.
- It secures workflow applications or cloud-based computing platforms.
- It secures the connection between an email client and an email server.
- To secure network logins with SSL VPNs like VPN access servers.
- It secures applications like Citrix Access Gateway.
The applications mentioned have many shared themes.
- All data that is transferred over the internet are delicate and need confidentiality. People do not want their personal information, passwords, logins, and credit card numbers exposed over the world wide web.
- Once a credit card transaction pushes through, a hacker should not be able to change the amount or where the money should go.
- Your company has to assure its identity to the customers so that they know they are dealing with the right people. It also needs to follow national and international regulations on data privacy.
What happens if SSL is not used properly?
SSL protects credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and Tax Identification Numbers. Without it, hackers may get their hands on delicate information.
Is SSL up to date?
Changes in technology are constant. Every year, there are some breakthroughs that make our lives better. This brings us to the question: is SSL up to date? The truth is, it’s not, and has not been updated since 1996. SSL does not support most modern browsers anymore.
With that said, people still refer to the updated encryption protocol as “SSL encryption”. TSL is the up-to-date protocol most people use. Vendors who say they are selling SSL are probably referring to TSL, which is the standard in the industry for more than 20 years now.
The term SSL still sticks in many product pages because people are still looking for it. Because of this, “SSL Protection” still figures prominently in many vendor sites until now.
If you’re still on the fence about getting protection for your website, we strongly encourage you to give it a try. Keep in mind that all businesses are based on trust. An SSL certificate for your website tells customers that their transactions with you are safe.
Or you may choose to “save” money and stay away from SSL protection.
The choice is yours.
Or better yet, schedule a free consultation with one of our CTS consultants to help you determine what’s best for your business.