Frequently Asked Questions About SSL Security |

Frequently Asked Questions About SSL Security


  • What is an SSL Certificate?

    An SSL Certificate is a digital certificate you install on the server that hosts your website. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it creates a secure link between a website and a visitor's browser. SSL has two primary functions:

    1. To authenticate the identity of your website to visiting browsers and your identity or business to the visiting customer.
    2. To provide encryption of private information exchanged on your site, such as credit card numbers or customer account information.

  • Why do I need an SSL Certificate?

    Your online customers are wary of internet fraud, identity theft and "phishing" schemes more than ever. Installing the proper security and validation for your site gains their trust and lets them know your site is a secure place where they can exchange confidential information, purchase products and services, and complete secure transactions.

  • Does my site need data encryption?

    Encryption changes data into a form that can only be read by the intended receiver. Because computers and servers maintain an ongoing connection with the web, extra security is needed to protect private data and information while it’s stored or sent online.

    With hacking and large-scale data breaches on the rise, it’s a best practice for any website that interacts with customer data to be protected via an SSL Certificate.

  • What is 256-bit Encryption?

    Because computers and servers are networked and maintain an ongoing connection with the web, protecting private data and information while it’s stored or sent online requires an extra measure of security. Encryption changes data into a form that can only be read by the intended receiver.

    256-bit encryption refers to the size of the decryption key used to unscramble encrypted data. It would take a hacker 2256 possible combinations to figure it out––an endeavor that would outlast any human lifespan. 256-bit encryption is considered computationally infeasible to crack and is known as a very strong SSL security.

  • How will customers know my site is secure?

    When you have an SSL Certificate installed on your server, your site will display instantly recognizable symbols that let customers know your site is secure:

    1. A padlock symbol that appears in their web browser when your site is opened.
    2. The "https" prefix in front of your URL address in the browser.

    All SSL Certificates from include https and the padlock icon. Our Extended Validation Certificates also includes a green browser bar on some browsers.

    It’s also common for prominent browsers to place alerts and warnings on websites that do not have SSL.

  • What is validation?

    Validation is the process of having your domain and business or individual identity authenticated by a Certificate Authority. It's similar to a Driver's License, or any official document that provides you with proof of your identity and credentials. Once your Certificate is installed on your server, customers can view your authenticated information by clicking on the padlock symbol in the browser—this will automatically display your qualifications to the public. It’s like how professionals hang framed copies of licenses, degrees and other credentialing documents on their office walls.

  • What is Extended Validation?

    Extended Validation is the highest level of validation any business can receive. A unique benefit of an Extended Validation (EV) Certificate is that it turns the browser bar green whenever your site is opened in newer versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox—giving your visitors an instant visual indication that your site has the highest level of assurance.

    The EV application is more extensive than other certificates. For this reason it has a slightly longer validation time.

    The following types of entities may qualify for Extended Validation:

    • Corporation/Limited Liability Company
    • Sole Proprietorship/Unincorporated Business
    • Government Organization
    • NGO/International Treaty Organization

  • What are Organization Validation Certificates?

    Organization Validation does more than validate your domain—it verifies your business as a legal entity. The primary reason for a website to obtain an OV SSL Certificate is to encrypt a website user’s sensitive information during transactions. Our Basic, Advanced and Wildcard are categorized as Organizational Validation (OV) Certificates.

    An OV Certificate is issued only after verifying/confirming the legitimacy of your business. This is done by using currently established and accepted vetting processes, like manually checking credentials such as Dun & Bradstreet numbers, articles of incorporation, WHOIS database information, passport, driver's license, etc. You move through the various stages of validation using Account Manager. We also will send email communications to you to help you in the process.

    Upon receipt of all documentation, the process is completed. For the Basic Certificate this process can take 2-4 business days. However, it can be expedited to one business day with the purchase of the Advanced Certificate.

    Once all validation is complete, the SSL Certificate is issued electronically and is ready for installation on the website. If the site is hosted with, much of this installation process is automated. If the website is not hosted with, please contact that provider.

  • What documentation is needed for a business SSL?

    As the Certificate Authority, will authenticate the purchasing company’s identity and credentials using WHOIS database information, Dun & Bradstreet data, articles of incorporation, and other credible sources such as government-issued photo IDs. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive approach to identity validation so that your SSL Certificate lets your customers know your business is both legitimate and safe.

  • What documentation is needed for a personal SSL?

    Our Xpress Certificates use an email-based validation process with information from the WHOIS database. This quick certificate needs only to validate domain registration and can be issued within minutes.

  • Why is there a monetary guarantee for SSL Certificates?

    Security vulnerability is a liability. A monetary guarantee assures your customers’ transactions are protected on your website. If they incur losses resulting directly from an online credit card transaction while visiting your website and the loss is a result of a miss-issued certificate, your customer will receive reimbursement.

  • What are subdomains?

    A subdomain is a domain that is created by using your main domain name and a prefix name. Many websites use subdomains as a way to create separate areas or functions of the website. For example, might use the subdomain to handle customer check outs, and for customer information, etc. If your website uses subdomains and you wish to secure several different subdomains, we recommend a Wildcard SSL Certificate, which allows you to secure unlimited subdomains with a single certificate.

  • I am not an eCommerce site. Do I still need an SSL Certificate?

    Yes. Any website that interacts with customer data, passwords, log-in portals, or is under industry regulation for privacy should have an SSL Certificate. Additionally, several browsers have begun alerting users when they land on an unsecured website, warning them to leave at once. If you don’t want to risk your site user receiving a “non-secured website” flag, you should get an SSL Certificate.

  • What if I'm not sure which SSL Certificate is best for me?

    We offer five different levels of website security. Decision-making criteria include the size and purpose of your organization, the number of subdomains you use or the amount of guarantee you need. The level of validation your site requires will determine how extensive the verification process is and how much time it takes to complete.

    If you have any questions, give us a call! We’re always happy to help you customize the solution that works best for you. Call us at 1-866-455-1655.

  • Why should I trust with my security needs? is one of the most recognized names in the industry. Millions of web-based businesses trust us with their online services. Getting an SSL Certificate from allows your website and your online business to benefit from a well recognized and well established name. You'll also have the advantage of our experienced customer call center.

  • Are there special requirements for installing an SSL Certificate on my website?

    SSL Certificates can be successfully installed on most websites. However one specific requirement is that your website has a dedicated IP address.

    If your site is hosted with a hosting package, your site already has a dedicated IP address and is ready for your certificate to be installed.

    If your site is hosted outside of, contact your hosting company to find out if you already have a dedicated IP address, or if any additional steps must be taken before installing your certificate.