In all the years I have been involved with E-Commerce, both as a merchant and as a consumer, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates have always been an area of contention for me. There are several myths about SSL and the golden padlock that need debunking.
When I talk to people about SSL certificates there are really two reasons people like them. The first reason is security. The point of the certificate is to encrypt data between the browser and the web server. There are several different levels of encryption with 128bit being the most popular.
The second reason is all to do with trust. If you have a golden padlock, or better a green bar in the browser, it implies trust. Web surfers all over the world have been trained to look for the padlock symbol, together with links to certificate authorities or impressive statements such as 'secured by 128-bit encryption'. It's all part of winning the trust battle.
So with the scene set, here are my top SSL myths:
In my job I come into contact with a lot of E-Commerce businesses and the range of sites is quite staggering in terms of both products and company size. However there is one common factor: they all have to be able to take card payments.
Accepting payments online can be a fairly daunting process, especially for the first time merchant. There is a lot of jargon, bureaucracy and confusion about how to get started. In this article I'll attempt to demystify the topic.
It doesn't matter who I talk to about E-Commerce; merchants, designers or even my parents, security is always something that is brought up. Identity theft, phishing and data loss are just some of the topics that can completely polarise any discussion regarding buying online. Some of it is very valid. There are genuine problems that need solving if you are selling online, but some of it is an over-reaction. Here I will look at the key elements for securing your E-Commerce store.
I find it fascinating listening to my parents reminisce about days gone by. They, and I, have lived the majority of our lives on the same 23 by 13 mile slab of land, known to holiday makers as the Isle of Wight and by residents as simply "the Island". So it's interesting and easy to see how things have changed over the years. One topic that's always a favourite is the inevitable look back at the local high street.
Chatting with a friend I was shocked to hear how hackers had targeted his iTunes account and managed to empty his bank account. It made me realise that I probably don't take my online security seriously enough.
As more and more of our data, both personal and business-related, moves away from local hard disks to the cloud the number of add-ons and tools designed to secure and keep us safe is also growing. However it can be a confusing topic, especially for those who are less technically minded.