SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificates are a valuable asset to any business with an Internet presence. They allow customers to make online purchases with confidence that their information is safe. Primarily, these certificates, issued by a certification authority, establish a unique encrypted electronic signature for the business. This ensures that any information transmitted from the business to a financial clearinghouse or bank is reliable. The data, sent through an encrypted packet, uses separate secure SSL certificates between servers. The higher-level certificate provides another layer of security during the transmission. The data is most vulnerable during transmission so this extra layer of security is necessary.
Verisign created the five classes or levels of security in use today. The lowest class is used by individuals in their e-mail accounts and so forth, and the highest class is used by governments all over the world. In fact, Verisign was the first certification authority, although there are other reliable authorities in business today as well. Every certification authority uses this classification system.
SSL Certificates or digital certificates as they are also called are used to securely process information/forms. They are shown in your web browser with an (s) attached to the URL such as https://www.affordablewebsites.net.
Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a minor ranking boost.
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