What is an SSL certificate & do I need one?

SSL encrypts information sent between your website and a visitor's web browser so that it cannot be read as it is sent across the internet.

SSL stands for secure sockets layer (you never know, it might come up in a quiz sometime), and it's most commonly used when websites request sensitive information from a visitor, like a password or credit card number.

If you've ever bought anything online, you've probably used SSL without realising it. Most web browsers display a padlock when you're viewing a site over SSL, so you know the connection is secure.

The address of pages viewed over SSL also normally starts https://, instead of http://.

When you buy SSL, you're actually buying an SSL certificate. This is issued by a trusted authority and identifies your site or business. You can then install this onto your domain name in order to encrypt pages on your website.

An SSL certificate is recommended if you are requesting customer’s information through your website.

What is the difference between the SSL certificates offered by 123-reg?

Shared SSL certificates are automatically created for all websites using the 123-reg Pro or Expert hosting packages. It is a long name, for example https://sslwin1.123-secure.com/~yourdomain.com, and because it is a subdirectory, your links will not automatically work. All of your files and directories can be accessed in this way.

123-SSL – ideal for a new hobby website. Allows you to display the yellow padlock (signifying a secure browser to web site connection) in all popular browsers and mobile devices. This means transactions and customer data are encrypted and your visitors have confidence in your security. 123-SSL Certificates are ideal for entry-level web sites.

123-SSL Wildcard offers all the features of a 123-SSL with the added benefit of saving you time, administration and money. Typically a standard secure server SSL Certificate is issued to a single Fully Qualified Domain Name only, which means it can only be used on the exact domain (including sub-domain) to which it has been issued. With the Wildcard SSL option activated you easily get around this restriction by receiving a Wildcard SSL Certificate issued to *.domain.com. The * character replaces a "fixed" sub-domain with a "variable" one.

Domain SSL – ideal if you have recently launched your own online business. Offers quick issuance SSL with true 128bit+ encryption. In times of phishing and identity theft, your customers look to you to secure information sent over the Internet with the strongest encryption from the most credible security providers. With Domain SSL secure server Certificates you activate the "padlock" in minutes and start securing credit card transactions, web account logins, network traffic and online services. Strong SGC security is included in every SSL Certificate at no additional cost to make sure you provide the strongest possible encryption to every customer.

Domain SSL Wildcard offers all the features of a Domain SSL with the added benefit of saving you time, administration and money. Typically a standard secure server SSL Certificate is issued to a single Fully Qualified Domain Name only, which means it can only be used on the exact domain (including sub-domain) to which it has been issued. With the Wildcard SSL option activated you easily get around this restriction by receiving a Wildcard SSL Certificate issued to *.domain.com. The * character replaces a "fixed" sub-domain with a "variable" one.

Organisational SSL – ideal if your business site is well-established, busy and growing. Offers the same features and benefits as the Domain SSL with the further advantage of being org-validated. This means that customers will be able to see your validated company details in the SSL Certificate and site seal profile increasing and ensuring their trust in your business.

Organisational SSL Wildcard offers all the features of an Organisational SSL with the added benefit of saving you time, administration and money. Typically a standard secure server SSL Certificate is issued to a single Fully Qualified Domain Name only, which means it can only be used on the exact domain (including sub-domain) to which it has been issued. With the Wildcard SSL option activated you easily get around this restriction by receiving a Wildcard SSL Certificate issued to *.domain.com. The * character replaces a "fixed" sub-domain with a "variable" one.

Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL) – ideal if your business site is well-established, busy and growing and you want the best security you can get for your site. Immediately informs your customers that you’re a secure, trusted and authentic company by turning the address bar green in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. By turning the address bar green and showing the visitor your company name and the identity of the trusted Issuing Authority, your SSL Certificate provides a higher level of trust and assurance than just the standard non-EV padlock.

Why should a company use EV SSL?
1

Protect your customer’s accounts from phishing attacks - any web site that gives their customers accounts is a potential phishing target.

2

Protect your brand from copy cat web sites - ensure customers know the site claiming to be you really is you.

3

Elevate your site image - position your brand against the big brands, thousands of which have already adopted EV SSL.

Please note: If you wish to purchase an Organisational or EV SSL certificate, you will be required to undergo a more thorough vetting process carried out by GlobalSign. For more information about the vetting process, please click here.

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