Is customer data safe on your website? When consumers provide credit card information or personal details, is the link between your site and their device secure — or open to prying eyes?
Providing security is a necessity if your business sells products or services online. Your potential customers are wary about the prevalence of fraud and identity theft, and the FBI even advises people not to send credit card information electronically until they ensure the transaction is secure.
SSL is essential in keeping consumer data safe. If your site handles personal or credit card information, invest in HTTPS ASAP. The accompanying checklist, created by SingleHop is a thumbnail guide to help you along.
CHECKLIST: How To Set Up An SSL Certificate On Your Website Or Server SSL technology encrypts communication between web browsers and website servers to help keep customer data safe. Here’s a checklist of tasks to help your business put an SSL certificate to work.
KNOW THE BASICS SSL protection obscures transmitted data using a public “key,” which a browser accesses when navigating to your site; and a private key, which only you know. Your server can decrypt the information, but hackers are out of luck.
GO DEDICATED Through your web host, upgrade to a dedicated (rather than shared) IP address. SSL issuers must ensure that traffic using your key is going to your site and not another hosted at the same address.
CREATE A SIGNING REQUEST A certificate signing request is encrypted text to be included in your certificate: organization and domain names, locality, etc. Ask your web provider to do this, or create one via your web hosting control panel.
ACQUIRE A CERTIFICATE Some companies issue SSL certificates for a small fee. Open-source options provide free, automated access to SSL certificates. You typically must create an account with the certificate authority, which verifies information and creates a public/private key pair.
INSTALL/ACTIVATE If all goes well, your certificate authority should email a .CRT file to install. Your web provider might be willing to activate the certificate, or you can do so, again via your web control panel (“Install SSL Certificate”).
TEST Enter “https://” and your domain name. If you land on your site, the certificate is working properly. If the webpage won’t load, contact your certificate authority.
UPDATE YOUR SITE Update any site links that transmit sensitive data (account logins, shopping carts, payment gateways) so that users will access your site through the secure, https-enabled URLs instead of just HTTP.