Secure Sockets Layer

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology protects your Web site and makes it easy for your Web site visitors to trust you in three essential ways:

SSL Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data − a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL, and many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, URLs that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http.

How Encryption Works
Imagine sending mail through the postal system in a clear envelope. Anyone with access to it can see the data. If it looks valuable, they might take it or change it. An SSL Certificate establishes a private communication channel enabling encryption of the data during transmission. Encryption scrambles the data, essentially creating an envelope for message privacy.

Each SSL Certificate consists of a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt information and the private key is used to decipher it. When a Web browser points to a secured domain, a Secure Sockets Layer handshake authenticates the server (Web site) and the client (Web browser). An encryption method is established with a unique session key and secure transmission can begin. True 128-bit SSL Certificates enable every site visitor to experience the strongest SSL encryption available to them.

How Authentication Works
Imagine receiving an envelope with no return address and a form asking for your bank account number. Every VeriSign® SSL Certificate is created for a particular server in a specific domain for a verified business entity. When the SSL handshake occurs, the browser requires authentication information from the server. By clicking the closed padlock in the browser window or certain SSL trust marks (such as the VeriSign Secured® Seal), the Web site visitor sees the authenticated organization name. In high-security browsers, the authenticated organization name is prominently displayed and the address bar turns green when an Extended Validation SSL Certificate is detected. If the information does not match or the certificate has expired, the browser displays an error message or warning.

Why Authentication Matters
Like a passport or a driver’s license, an SSL Certificate is issued by a trusted source, known as theCertificate Authority (CA). Many CAs simply verify the domain name and issue the certificate. VeriSign verifies the existence of your business, the ownership of your domain name, and your authority to apply for the certificate, a higher standard of authentication. VeriSign Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates meet the highest standard in the Internet security industry for Web site authentication as required by CA/Browser Forum. EV SSL Certificates give high-security Web browsers information to clearly display a Web site’s organizational identity. The high-security Web browser’s address bar turns green and reveals the name of the organization that owns the SSL Certificate and the SSL Certificate Authority that issued it. Because VeriSign is the most recognized name in online security, VeriSign SSL Certificates with Extended Validation will give Web site visitors an easy and reliable way to establish trust online.

  • An SSL Certificate enables encryption of sensitive information during online transactions.
  • Each SSL Certificate contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner.
  • A Certificate Authority verifies the identity of the certificate owner when it is issued.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): How It Works
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology protects your Web site and makes it easy for customers to trust you. An SSL Certificateenables encryption of sensitive information during online transactions. Each SSL Certificate contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner. Every SSL Certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority that verifies the identity of the certificate owner.

What is

VeriSign is by far the world's most well-known SSL brand for securing e-commerce and communications over intranets, extranets and the Web. Many organizations choose VeriSign for the consumer confidence-building power of the brand's reputation for online security. VeriSign customers have reported an increase in completed transactions on their Web sites after visibly deploying the VeriSign SecuredT Seal to inform potential customers that their transactions are protected with VeriSign SSL. Customers, such as who claim they experienced a 10% increase in completed transactions after adding the VeriSign Secured Seal to their Web site, have seen a valuable return on their investment in an SSL Certificate from VeriSign. The VeriSign Secure Seal is available in 13 languages.

Certificate Features and Benefits

Authentication Extended validation
Encryption SGC enabled. Minimum 128-bit to 256-bit encryption
Site seal  VeriSign Secured Seal; multi-lingual with EV Upgrader
Multi-year options  1 - 2 years
Root VeriSign root CA

What is

The GeoTrust brand, with over 100,000 customers in 150 countries, has the second largest user base in the Internet security industry after VeriSign. This brand has been characterized as a source for convenient, fast certificate issuance and very competitive prices. They offer an automated authentication process which, depending on the type of certificate requested, may achieve certificate delivery within minutes of receiving an order. GeoTrust offers certificates from the most basic SSL authentication up to the most advanced authentication provided by the Extended Validation SSL standard.

Certificate Features and Benefits

Authentication Full organization authentication
Encryption Minimum 40-bit up to 256-bit
Site seal  Dynamic site seal displaying your company name with real-time date and time stamp.
Multi-year options  1 - 5 years
Root Equifax root - owned by GeoTrust