These days people prefer to shop online for most of the items that they use rather than in a physical store, i.e. even the online grocery is gaining massive popularity.
This has led to an increase in the number of eCommerce websites on the internet, and since you are here reading this, it is safe to assume that you own one.
If you already own an eCommerce website, or you are about to own one, and you are thinking of how to make sure that the information of your clients is secure, as well as, the contents of your website, then you would have heard of SSL certificates.
With the rapid increase of the dependence on many daily activities on the internet, SSL certificates have become super important for any website to have. For an eCommerce website, one of the very basic and essential ways to make sure that the data transferred on your website is safe is with the use of SSL as it helps to secure whatever information is being transferred between your users and your website. Trust me, nobody wants to shop on an insecure website.
So, the question is how to delve into SSL subject Here are a few things you should know about securing your website with an SSL certificate:
What are SSL Certificates?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and what it does is ensure that any data being transferred between the server hosting your website and any of your users is encrypted (digitally secured). SSL encrypts user information with an encryption strength of 256-bit and makes sure that any data being transferred by the user to your website cannot be intercepted by a malicious third party. Therefore, an SSL certificate is a form of encryption and validation protocol that you obtain from an SSL certificate provider.
There are various SSL certificate types among them you can choose for your website.
Types of SSL Certificates
There are varying types of SSL certificates available to websites all over the web with varying levels of security. SSL certificates range from single domain certificate to Multi-domain ones like wildcard SSL certificate, domain validation certificate, and so on.
The best certificate for an eCommerce website is an Extended Validation (EV) certificate for the highest validation. This is because an EV certificate provides a very high level of validation for eCommerce websites. This is because it is validated through a very thorough process that involves obtaining comprehensive details of the website owner (company or individual), and it also provides you with the green padlock symbol to ensure customer trust along with company’s name with abbreviated country code.
Securing your Website with an SSL
1- Ensure domain name and proper hosting
One of the first steps to getting an SSL certificate is by owning a domain name like www.totalbye.com, then the next thing is to find a company that would offer a hosting service (if you plan on owning an eCommerce website, you probably know this already).
SSL certificates are issued to websites that have a domain name that is fully qualified, and not to local domains, or intranet, IP addresses.
Many servers already support server name indication (SNI), and this removes the need for you to have multiple IP addresses for different SSL certificates. This allows you to use a multiple SSL certificates with a single IP address.
Get the right SSL provider
These days there are several SSL certificate providers on the internet, and this has made SSL certificate cheaper to acquire than they previously were. You can browse the internet for SSL certificates that will match your budget. One of the SSL certificate people tend to go for are Positive Wildcard SSL certificates because they are functional, reliable and cheap. Most of the SSL certificate providers offer reliable customer support. Therefore, you should not have a problem renewing your certificate when it expires. Most SSL certificates have a validity period of 12 months to a 2 year.
Purchase your SSL
Now, after finding the right SSL for you, all you need to do is select the SSL certificate that you want to check out from your SSL provider for example, to secure subdomains, Wildcard certificates are a good option. However, there are several other providers out there that can satisfy your needs.
After you are done with your SSL purchase, all you need to do is to configure your SSL. The process involves the generation of CSR, private key generation, order placement, validation, and the final issuance of the certificate. Whew!
SSL certificate activation
The first step to activating your SSL certificate is by creating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) from the server on which your eCommerce website is hosted.
The CSR should have a —Begin Certificate Request– and —End certificate Request–.A private key will be created along with your CSR for you to keep secure. If another person gets a hold of this key (say a hacker), then the SSL certificate can be decoded, and with it, your data can be stolen.
Here are some of the fields you might see on a CSR:
- Domain Name
After filling all the fields, you need to copy the CSR with the BEGIN and END tag, including the dashes too, paste it in the required field, and proceed with your SSL configuration.
Make sure the email provided by you is the one associated with the domain name. During the domain validation process by the SSL certificate authority, your email will be used to confirm that you own the domain name rights. Once your domain name is validated, the SSL certificate will be sent to your email. In case, if you have selected organization validation or extended validation then, you need to submit business related documents before the certificate authority and the authority will verify it first before issuing an SSL certificate.
Installing your SSL certificate
After obtaining your SSL certificate, you need to install the certificate on your server. This installation can be done by your hosting provider or even by yourself. You can install SSL certificate on any type of server you wish. You can find guideline on Google if you install SSL yourself else, you can get assistance of your SSL provider. Just like that, once your SSL certificate will be installed on your eCommerce website, and whenever anyone visits your website, they would see the padlock icon left beside your website’s URL. Now you can be sure that it is safe for your customers to perform transactions on your eCommerce website.
Securing your website is a primary stage so your customers will have a secure environment on your website. MIt will enhance your image in front of customers and visitors and at later, the ROI of your business would have a new peak. Moreover, having a PCI compliant online business helps your build better credebility faster through search engines, social media and other mediums.