What is GeoTrust and SSL?

 'Site Secured by'

At the bottom of this and every page on this site is a small graphic, titled 'Site Secured by'. 
What does this mean?

The Purpose of using SSL Certificates

As a website that sells products to our customers we are sometimes asked;

  • “Why do you need SSL? "
  • "What does it do for me as a user?”

This is an important question for anyone involved in using the web to purchase products or services. SSL (Secured Socket Layers) is the backbone of our secure Internet and it protects your sensitive information as it travels across the world. It keeps the Internet from being ruled by anarchists and criminals and provides many direct benefits to you as our customer.

Why use SSL?

We use it to Encrypt Sensitive Information

The primary reason why SSL is used is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can understand it.

This is important because the information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate.

When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This protects it from hackers and identity thieves.

Authentication

In addition to encryption, a proper SSL certificate also provides authentication.

This means you can be sure that you are sending information to the right server and not to a criminal’s server.

Why is this important?

The nature of the Internet means that you (probably unknowing) will often be sending information through several computers. Any of these computers could pretend to be our website and trick you into sending them personal information.

It is only possible to avoid this by using a proper Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and getting an SSL Certificate from a trusted SSL provider such as GeoTust.

Why are SSL providers important?

Trusted SSL providers (such as GeoTrust) will only issue an SSL certificate to a verified company that has gone through several identity checks.

Why Use SSL?

Put simply 'We want you to trust us'

Web browsers give visual cues in the address bar, such as a lock icon or a green bar, this indicates that your connection is secured.

This means that you can trust our website when sending any information to us.

Why SSL protects from phishing

A phishing email is an email that could be sent by criminals who try to impersonate our website. The email usually includes a link to their own website or uses a man-in-the-middle attack to use our domain name.

However, because it is very difficult for these criminals to receive a valid and proper SSL certificate, they won’t be able to perfectly impersonate our site. This means that you will be far less likely to fall for a phishing attack because you can see our trust indicators in your browser, such as a green address bar or a lock, and the criminals can't.

Disadvantages of SSL

With so many advantages, why would anyone not use SSL?

  • Cost is an obvious disadvantage. Like many things these days to be secure is costly but losing data is more costly. 
  • Performance is another disadvantage to SSL. Because the information that you and we send has to be encrypted by our and other servers, it takes more server resources than if the information weren’t encrypted. However, we have taken steps to minimise any performance issues.

Overall, the disadvantages of using SSL are few and the advantages far outweigh them. It is critical that we use SSL on all our eCommerce websites. Proper use of SSL certificates will help protect you our customer and helps protect us.