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Lesson 2 Vocab 49 - SSL Certificate, Secure Socket Layer

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You will need an SSL Certificate if you want to sell jewelry directly from your website and accept credit cards for payment. Before I can explain what an SSL is, I need to explain a little about how the internet works.

When you visit a website, the words you see in your Firefox web browser (or IE or Safari if you haven't yet installed Firefox) are sent to your screen through the internet. You aren’t actually directly tethered to the web site, instead a copy of the page you requested is sent to your screen, and then the connection is turned off until you click something again.

Normally, anything sent to your computer is sent in what we call a "clear text" format. Any skilled hacker anywhere on the internet could figure out a way to snoop into your internet connection and see exactly what is being sent to you.

It also works the opposite way. When you fill out a form and click the [Submit] button your information is sent back to the website as clear text. This is okay if you are just requesting information, but it's not safe if you need to send the website your credit card number.

As a jewelry website owner, you need to make your customers feel safe. You don't want them to worry about a smart hacker that can snoop in on their information as it's being sent. The way you protect them, and set their worries at ease is to create a "Secure Socket Layer" connection using an "SSL Certificate" on your website.

The SSL Certificate will convert clear text information into encrypted information before it's sent. No one is able to hack the information and the customer credit card is safe.

SSL Certificates are available for most websites, but they cost extra money to setup. Many different companies provide SSL Certificate services, and they're not all created equal. I've seen them cost as little as $29 and as much as $900.

Talk to your website hosting company for more information and the technical requirements of SSL Certificates. There is an application process before you can get an SSL for your website. The approval can either be instant or it could take several days, it all depends on the type (and price) of certificate protection you are looking to provide your customers.




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AT: 01/22/2010 03:20:01 PM   LINK TO THIS ARTICLE
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