Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)What does SSL do?
SSL provides a level of security and privacy for those wishing to conduct secure transactions over the Internet. Introduced by Netscape Communications, the SSL protocol protects transmissions over the Internet by encrypting information as it passing between the server and the user. This insures that your transactions are not subject to "sniffing" by a third party.
Why use SSL?
If you want to conduct eCommerce, such as receiving credit card numbers or other sensitive information through your web site, SSL is a must.
SSL provides visitors to your web site with the confidence to communicate securely via an encrypted session. For companies wishing to conduct serious ecommerce, such as receiving credit card numbers or other sensitive information, SSL is a must. To find out more about how SSL works, please refer to the Introduction to Public Key Cryptography document authored by Netscape Communications.
While SSL handles the encryption part of a secure HTTP transaction, a Digital Certificate is necessary to provide server authentication. Ordering SSL for your Virtual Server is an easy task, you need simply send an email message to our Service Department or use our on-line Order Processing System. Securing a Digital Certificate, however, can be a more intricate process.
Without SSL, data sent back and forth between the web server and your browser is similar to a post card. The data is visible/accessible to anyone who handles the data (such as the myriad of servers, routers, and hubs on the Internet). With SSL, however, the analogy of your data being sent is more like transmitting an encrypted message inside a lockbox. Even if the data is intercepted as it is transmitted across the Internet, it is nearly impossible to be decrypted except by authorized parties.
Some answers to frequently asked questions about SSL and Digital Certificates can be found in Secure Server section of the Blue Reef FAQ. Please see our web page dedicated to Digital Certificate for complete information regarding obtaining and installing a Digital Certificate on your Virtual Server.
You can access any of your web content (documents, images, scripts, etc) on your Virtual Server securely by using the "https://index.html" prefix rather than the "http://index.html" prefix. For example, to send the contents of a fill-out-form securely to one of your CGI scripts, you would include something like the following in your HTML source:
Be sure that you do not reference embedded document content (images, etc) by an insecure prefix such as
once you enter secure mode.
You can access your email via SSL.
SSL is normally used in tandem with a Digital Certificate. A Digital Certificate gives your customers the assurance that your web site is legitimately yours and not that of an impostor. It also provides you with a legal basis to perform transactions on the Internet.