Secure Your Website With an SSL

Secure Your Website With an SSL

Whether you own a small business or are a large commercial trader, you will want your own data and customer’s data to be secure, private and confidential. Security technologies are used to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can understand and use it, and to authenticate that a data recipient is who they say they are.

What is SSL and do I need it?



Localnode has recently partnered with Comodo, a global internet security provider and registered Certificate Authority (CA), to sell and issue Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. Comodo leads the SSL Certificate industry as an originator of the Certificate Authority (CA) forum, an association of certificate authorities, web browser vendors, and representatives from the legal and auditing professions. Comodo is also the second largest owner of root keys (core encryption keys) in the world. Localnode believes the sign of a world class hosting company is one that can offer customers the best SSL certificates on the market.


What is SSL security technology?



SSL is the standard security technology for creating an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between Localnode’s web server and your browser remains private and secure. The system is used by literally millions of websites worldwide to secure internet transactions between the server and the customer.

SSL certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details. When installed on a web server, they activate a closed padlock icon and the https protocol, allowing only secure connections from a web server to a browser.


What types of SSL certificates are available?



It is useful to categorize SSL certificates loosely by validation method:

  • Domain Validated (DV) certificates are verified using only the domain name (e.g. Comodo’s Positive SSL and Wildcard SSL).

  • Organization Validated (OV) certificates verify the actual business and list the organization’s name in the SSL certificate (e.g. Comodo’s EV SSL and Multi-Domain EV SSL).

  • Extended Validated (EV) certificates do all the above and go a step further and display the organization’s name in the browser’s address bar which is highlighted green (e.g. Comodo’s EV SSL and Multi-Domain EV SSL).




Examples of SSL applications:



  • Credit card transactions
  • Website logins
  • Confidential data entry
  • Secure email
  • Private office networks


What do Localnode and Comodo have to offer?

We believe customer confidence in a trusted session is vitally important and directly affects a company’s bottom line. To this end, Comodo provides an SSL warranty to customers that should anything go wrong, the end-user is insured for any losses that may occur.

Our partnership makes setting up a secure web site easier, quicker and more efficient, and ensures dedicated support from a single source to secure your web presence. Together, Localnode and Comodo handle the entire issuance process and walk you through the installation so there’s no need for you to employ specialist staff, find a suitable security provider or understand back-end technical jargon. We lay out precisely what security options we offer that will protect your unique requirements.


SSL certificate features – what you need to know:

In order to make an informed decision about the most suitable certificate for your needs, you need to understand a bit about the features common to different SSL certificates on the market. You can compare these features for the certificates we sell on the Localnode website.

  • 256-bit SSL – Provides the strongest SSL encryption standard available today.


  • Issuance – Gives you an approximate idea of how long it will take for your certificate to be issued. Some hosting companies may take up to a week and a half to issue a certificate.


  • Browser recognition – Indicates what percentage of browsers will recognize a particular certificate. Comodo has one of the most extensive root key portfolios, trusted by over 99.9% of all browsers. A root key is used to "sign" other certificates and is incorporated into most browsers.


  • Warranty – An insurance that covers the unlikely eventuality that the certificate you have chosen fails to provide the security it offered.

  • Wildcard – Provides multiple sub-domain security for a single domain.


  • Secure multiple domains – Allows you to secure multiple domains and/ or sub-domains in one certificate.


  • Activates green address bar – Indicates extended validation and is an essential feature to ensure complete confidentiality and security on financial sites and those where high-value transactions take place, or personal customer information and pin codes are entered.


  • Mobile device compatibility – Not all SSL certificates render on mobile phones. As more and more consumers are accessing the internet from mobile devices this is arguably a non-negotiable feature.


  • Activates browser padlock – The padlock icon is the most recognizable feature for users that a site is secure. It is most definitely a non-negotiable feature.


  • Vetting process – This indicates from which authority source security authentication has originated.



Additional features offered by Localnode SSL:



  • Secures www and non-www sites
  • Can be installed on different IP’s
  • Free unlimited reissues
  • Universal device support
  • Free trust logo to build customer confidence
  • Accredited security audits



Types of certificates – which one is best for my business?



Positive SSL:
Positive SSL refers to a class of certificates that includes basic standard security features. It is a DV certificate, one of the most popular certificates and the most cost-effective. As an entry-level solution, it is ideal for personal websites, blog sites, start-up companies and entrepreneurs. It’s usually issued within an hour, has an impressive warranty for its cost and, like its more costly alternatives, features 99.9% browser recognition and is 256-bit SSL security-enabled.

Positive SSL wildcard:
Wildcard is a cost-effective solution for securing multiple sub-domains for a single domain. For instance, you may have a website called ceramicpots.com. With wildcard SSL, you can secure photos.ceramicpots.com, art.ceramicpots.com, blog.ceramicpots.com, portfolio.ceramicpots.com, etc. - all on one certificate. Positive SSL wildcard is quickly issued, easy to install and ideal for small businesses with multiple sub-domains who want to secure an all-encompassing internet presence quickly and effectively. It’s also useful for businesses providing different products and services under a single umbrella domain, and is commonly used by companies offering free hosted web pages where customers provide their own names in place of the wildcard.

Extended Validation (EV) SSL:
When browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox encounter an SSL certificate that has been authenticated using EV, the web address will not only show it is using https and display a closed padlock icon to indicate an encrypted session; the browser address bar will also turn green when your customer enters the secure area of your business, and the reassuring, and verifiable, identity of the certificate owner will appear next to the web address. A user can see at a glance that the web site has met the security industry’s highest standard for authentication. EV is the best way to get the highest trust.

Multi-domain EV SSL:
This is a simple and convenient SSL option for multiple domains; only one certificate is required to manage all of them. A multi-domain certificate - also known as a Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) – allows you to secure one domain name with different domain extensions (e.g. mywebsite.co.uk and mywebsite.es), or a primary domain name and up to 99 additional Subject Alternative Names (SANs) in a single certificate. If you are running multiple domains or sub-domains, this is a far more–cost effective option than using multiple individual EV certificates and usually only one unique IP address is required per domain name. It includes all the features of single-domain EV SSL.


Why choose Extended Validation (EV)?

  • EV was initially introduced to add consumer trust to online transactions by requiring website operators to undergo vetting with a CA.

  • SSL certificates which are only domain-validated cannot assure visitors that a web site is operated by a legitimate business. A site seal of trust that shows the web site owner’s information or an EV SSL certificate recognized by high security browsers can ensure customer confidence in your site.

  • With hacking, spamming and phishing incidents making headlines regularly, not many customers these days will enter into high-value transactions, particularly financial ones, without complete confidence in the security and confidentiality of the website they’re using.

  • Clients and customers are able to recognize at a glance that the site is covered by EV. The certificate owner information is displayed and can be verified in the green address bar.

  • The additional cost of EV is negligible balanced against the security offered.

  • The highly-visible green address bar, evidencing trust, further creates a competitive advantage that translates into higher revenue per transaction and higher lifetime customer value.

Note: EV cannot be issued to individuals, only organizations.


How do I know if it’s a secure SSL site?

You can recognize a secure SSL site from the following features in the browser address bar:
  • The secure https:// protocol indicator preceding the URL, and
  • A gold (or green) coloured padlock icon.


For Extended Validation (EV) certificates only:
  • The bar will be highlighted in green, and
  • The identity of the certificate holder will be displayed.



Conclusion:

Cyber criminals can attempt to impersonate your website to steal end-users’ identities, but it’s been shown that users will be far less likely to fall for such a ploy when they are aware of the trust indicators commonly used in browser, such as the icon of a closed padlock. This visible sign of security provides businesses and their customers with peace of mind, and leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, higher conversion rates and increased sales. It also shows a business has high professional standards, and protects company information, not only client data.

Additionally, there is no one certificate that is right for everyone. However, if security and conversion rates are both important to you, you will be better off in the long-run with the best SSL technology you can afford. Even if you’re only writing a personal blog, as a rule of thumb, if you are asking your visitors to subscribe and requiring them to log in or share their personal information with you, for your own peace of mind, you should opt for a high level of security.