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SSL Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some of the common questions about SSL certificates. If you require any more additional information please contact our support team.

An SSL certificate is a bit of code on your web server that provides security for online communications. When a web browser contacts your secured web site, the SSL certificate enables an encrypted connection. It’s kind of like sealing a letter in an envelope before sending it through the mail.

SSL certificates also inspire trust because each SSL certificate contains identification information. When you request an SSL certificate, a third party (such as OpenSRS) verifies your organization’s information and issues a unique certificate to you with that information. This is known as the authentication process.

SSL certificates keep online interactions private even though they travel across the public Internet, and they help customers gain the confidence to transact with your web site. If you ask users of your web site to sign in, if they enter personal data such as credit card numbers online, or if they view confidential information such as health benefits or financial accounts, you need to keep the data private. You also need to help them confirm that your web site is authentic.

Encryption is a mathematical process of coding and decoding information. The number of bits (40-bit, 56-bit, 128-bit, 256-bit) tells you the size of the key. Like a longer password, a larger key has more possible combinations. In fact, 128-bit encryption is one trillion times stronger than 40-bit encryption. When an encrypted session is established, the strength is determined by the capability of the web browser, SSL certificate, web server, and client computer operating system.

The right SSL certificate for your organization depends on your web site and your audience.

  • For public web sites where customers enter credit cards or other high value information, you need to quickly show users proof of your web site’s identity and encryption. An SSL Web Server Certificate with EV turns the address bar green in high-security browsers and displays your verified organization name, making it easy for users to trust your site.
  • If your site requires sign-in or log-in, SSL Web Server Certificates provide assurance of your site’s identity and security. The encryption is as strong as an EV certificate, however, without the visibility and assurance of the green address bar..
  • To keep internal communications and intranets private, an SSL123 Certificate provides encryption for employees and on-site users. Only the domain name is verified however.
  • If your users connect with older browsers or you are unsure how they connect, consider SGC SuperCerts. Most SSL certificates are capable of strong encryption (128-bit or higher). However, without SGC technology, certain older browsers and operating systems cannot step-up to 128-bit encryption. SGC SuperCerts enable 128 or 256-bit encryption for over 99.9% of Internet users.
  • If you need to secure multiple subdomains on a single server. Choose a Wildcard SSL Certificate. Using the wildcard notation (an asterisk and period before your domain name) allows you to extend security to different subdomains based on your top-level domain name, thus reducing management time and cost.
  • Easy online distribution has made it possible for developers to create fun and functional code, anywhere and everywhere. However, the potential for fraud and the spread of malicious code has increased as well. With a OpenSRS; Code Signing Certificate, your code will be as safe and trustworthy to customers as shrink-wrapped software from a store shelf.

  1. A browser attempts to connect to a web site secured with SSL. The browser requests that the web server identify itself.
  2. The server sends the browser a copy of its SSL certificate.
  3. The browser checks whether it trusts the SSL certificate. If so, it sends a message to the server.
  4. The server sends back a digitally signed acknowledgement to start an SSL encrypted session.
  5. Encrypted data is shared between the browser and the server.