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Getting Started > Secure Certificates

Secure Certificates

What are Secure Certificates?

Secure Certificates (also known as SSL Certificates) enable you to protect your customers from having their information (login, credit card, etc.) intercepted and stolen. They help your customers to feel comfortable and safe using your web site.

Securing your order pages has many benefits to you. Many online transactions fail at the last minute when consumers consider the potential risks of entering their credit card and other personal information, or when it is not clear whether it is safe to download code from your site.

Another benefit is that a secure certificate shows that you are a trustworthy online organization. It ensures a better online relationship with your customers since they know that their information can never be stolen from your site.

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How do Secure Certificates work?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for creating an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This encrypted link makes sure that all of the data passed between the web server where your site is hosted and your customer's browser remains private.

When you are ready to purchase a secure certificate, your hosting company will work with you to create, puchase, and install the secure certificate. Your hosting company will generate two cryptographic keys. One will be a private key that will remain on the hosting company's server. The second will be a public key that will be sent to the secure certificate company.

The secure certificate company needs to verify that you have a valid company and that your domain name is issued for your company before they issue a secure certificate to you. This allows your customers to know that when they submit credit card numbers or other personal information to you, they are doing business with you and not an impostor. This process and the time that it takes to verify all of this information varies from company to company.

Once your secure certificate is issued, your hosting company will install the secure certificate on their servers for your site. When your customer goes to a secure page, their browser will check the public key from your secure certificate company and then the private key on your hosting company's server. If they match, the customer's browser will display a lock:

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Do I need a Secure Certificate?

We recommend that you think strongly about getting a secure certificate UNLESS you plan on using a payment processor like VeriSign PayFlow Link or PayPal. In that case, your customers would enter their credit card information on a secure server provided by the payment processor and you would not need to purchase one.

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Secure Certificate Companies

Company New Price Renewal Price
GeoTrust Quick SSL $169.00 - 1 year
$296.00 - 2 years
$422.00 - 3 years
$549.00 - 4 years
$676.00 - 5 years

$149.00 - 1 year
$261.00 - 2 years
$372.00 - 3 years
$484.00 - 4 years
$596.00 - 5 years

GeoTrust Quick SSL Premium $249.00 - 1 year
$436.00 - 2 years
$622.00 - 3 years
$809.00 - 4 years
$996.00 - 5 years
$209.00 - 1 year
$366.00 - 2 years
$522.00 - 3 years
$679.00 - 4 years
$836.00 - 5 years
Thawte $199.00 - 1 year
$349.00 - 2 years
$159.00 - 1 year
$299.00 - 2 years
Thawte SGC SuperCerts $449.00 - 1 year
$849.00 - 2 years
$399.00 - 1 year
$749.00 - 2 years
VeriSign Secure Site $349.00 - 1 year
$598.00 - 2 years
$249.00 - 1 year
VeriSign Secure Site Pro $995.00 - 1 year
$1790.00 - 2 years
$895.00 - 1 year

Prices current as of June 2005. Please check vendor's sites for most up-to-date pricing.

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