Jargon Buster: SSL Terms Explained

As a fledgling business owner hoping to find their spot on the Internet, trying to get your head around the concept of online security can be a little daunting, particularly if you have no clue what all the various jargon actually means. Hopefully, this might help.

SSL Defined

SSL - Short for Secure Sockets Layer, this tool, in layman’s terms, encrypts sensitive data sent from the browser to the web server, to avoid compromise by anyone or anything eavesdropping on the connection. It makes information such as credit card details and passwords indecipherable, which in turn increase customer confidence as they know they are in safe hands.

SSL certificate is illegible to the human eye – if you want to view the contents of your certificate, you need a SSL Browser (e.g. OpenSSL) or using your web browser to view your site.

Wildcard SSL

Unlike the standard certificates, Wildcard SSL Certificate can cover unlimited sub-domains, providing the ultimate convenience (and saving you a lot of money), should you need it.

Extended Validation

This is a variation of the standard SSL certificate, but includes a couple more steps to verify that the website owner can be trusted, such as extra identification or checking the business listing with Companies House.

Certificate Authority

These are the guys that provide you with your SSL certificate that your server administrator can then install onto your website. Choosing a reputable Certificate Authority that is recognizable and trusted will provide you with all the verification you could possibly need.

VeriSign Trust Seal

The VeriSign Trust Seal aims to increase confidence on sites that don’t necessarily require SSL certificates, perhaps because they outsource transactions to third parties such as PayPal. Websites of any size can display it and its presence can help to scan for malicious code on your site as well as sit proudly as a globally recognized symbol on your website.

Research your options and make sure you take online security seriously – it’s a step closer to business success.
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