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What are SSL Certificates? An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the process of scrambling data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key.
A certificate serves as an electronic "passport" that establishes an online entity's credentials when doing business on the Web. When an Internet user attempts to send confidential information to a Web server, the user's browser accesses the server's digital certificate and establishes a secure connection.
An SSL certificate contains the following information:Top
The certificate holder's name The certificate's serial number and expiration date A copy of the certificate holder's public key The digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority
An SSL certificate ensures safe, easy, and convenient Internet shopping. Once an Internet user enters a secure area - by entering credit card information, email address, or other personal data, for example - the shopping site's SSL certificate enables the browser and Web server to build a secure, encrypted connection. The SSL "handshake" process, which establishes the secure session, takes place discreetly behind the scene without interrupting the consumer's shopping experience. A "padlock" icon in the browser's status bar and the "https://" prefix in the URL are the only visible indications of a secure session in progress.
By contrast, if a user attempts to submit personal information to an unsecured website (i.e., a site that is not protected with a valid SSL certificate), the browser's built-in security mechanism triggers a warning to the user, reminding him/her that the site is not secure and that sensitive data might be intercepted by third parties. Faced with such a warning, most Internet users will likely look elsewhere to make a purchase.
How does ICANN's New gTLD Program affect my SSL certificate?Top
In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched the New gTLD Program. In 2012, public and private organizations applied for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs). Instead of about two dozen TLDs, such as .com and .org, there could soon be hundreds.
The New gTLD program could affect you if you request an SSL certificate for an intranet name, such as .local or .intranet, that is pending registration as a new gTLD. If ICANN approves the new gTLD, you must provide further validation to prevent revocation of the certificate.
In other words, if you request a certificate for an intranet name that you do not own, we will be forced to revoke it per ICANN's guidelines.
A Wildcard SSL certificate secures your website URL, and an unlimited number of its subdomains. A single Wildcard certificate can secure both www.coolexample.com, and blog.coolexample.com.
Wildcard certificates secure the common name and all subdomains at the level you specify when you submit your request. Just add an asterisk (*) in the subdomain area to the left of the common name.
Examples If you configure *.coolexample.com, you can secure:
coolexample.com www.coolexample.com photos.coolexample.com blog.coolexample.com If you configure *.www.coolexample.com, you can secure:
www.coolexample.com mail.www.coolexample.com photos.www.coolexample.com blog.www.coolexample.com Wildcard certificates secure websites the same as regular SSL certificates, and requests are processed using the same validation methods. However, some Web servers might require a unique IP address for each subdomain on the Wildcard certificate.
What Is the encryption strength of your SSL certificates? Top
All of our SSL certificates support high-grade 256-bit encryption.
The actual encryption strength on a secure connection using a digital certificate is determined by the level of encryption supported by the user's Web browser and the Web server that the website resides on. For example, the combination of a Firefox browser and an Apache server normally enables up to 256-bit AES encryption with our SSL certificates. This means that depending on the browser and server that combine to establish the secure connection through one of our SSL certificates, the encryption strength of the secure connection may be 40, 56, 128, or 256 bit. What is an intermediate certificate?Top
Intermediate certificates provide maximum browser and server coverage to ensure visitors won't receive "invalid SSL" warnings when they visit your site.
Most browsers and servers include one or more of our trusted root certificates, either Starfield Technologies or Valicert.
The intermediate certificate bundle "chains" your SSL certificate to our trusted root certificates, letting your certificate secure connections with older browsers that might have only our original Valicert root certificate installed.
Using intermediate certificates does not cause installation, performance, or compatibility issues. Which browsers and devices are your SSL certificates compatible with?Top
The following browsers and devices work with our SSL certificates. This means users accessing the site you secured can successfully send and receive encrypted information.
NOTE: This list of browsers and devices does not represent the browsers and devices that work with our applications. This list only represents the browsers and devices that work with our SSL certificates, although some browsers and devices appear on both lists.