SSL Certificates and Other Ways to Protect Your Website
You can protect your website in a variety of ways using SSL Certificates. It’s possible to protect the online photos with several different security methods. There are different types of security protocol and they serve different functions and a website owner may have a variety of reasons why you want to use such security measures on your own website. The first step in understanding how this technology will benefit your website is understanding the different components that go into website security protocol.
What is an SSL Certificate?
The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a highly popular security protocol. It provides a secure channel between two machines operating over an internal network the Internet. The SSL protocol is typically used when a web browser needs to securely connect to a web server to the Internet. Does someone browsing even have awareness that such security protocols have been put into place?
Technically, SSL is a protocol which requires little interaction from the end user when establishing a secure session. In the case of a browser for instance, users are alerted to the presence of SSL when the browser displays a padlock, or, in the case of Extended Validation SSL, when the address bar displays both a padlock and a green bar. One of the main reasons SSL is such a successful protocol is that it involves very little interaction with the end user.
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. SSL is used to secure data transfer and logins, credit card transactions and more recently is becoming the norm when browsing social media sites. SSL Certificates bind together a domain name, server name or hostname and an organizational identity such as a company name and location.
To view the details of an SSL Certificate, go to a secure site, click on the padlock and select “View Certificate”. All browsers are slightly different, but the Certificate always contains the same information. SSL Certificates need to be issued from a trusted Certificate Authority’s Root Certificate, and preferably by a 2048 bit Certificate that’s widely distributed. The Root Certificate must be present on the end user’s machine in order for the Certificate to be trusted.
Depending on the type of SSL Certificate applied for, the organization will need to go through differing levels of vetting. Once installed, it is possible to connect to the website over https://www.domain.com, as this tells the server to establish a secure connection with the browser. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure
Different Types of Certificates
Now that we know the basics of SSL protocol and the certificates and how to identify them we are ready to learn about the different types. Over the last few years the number of organizations using SSL Certificates has increased dramatically. The applications for which SSL is being used have also expanded. For example:
Some organizations need SSL simply for confidentiality, e.g. encryption and some wish to use SSL to enhance trust in their security and identity by showing their customers they have been vetted and are a legitimate organization. As the applications for SSL have started to become wider, three types of SSL Certificates have emerged:
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates: where the Certificate Authority (CA) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts a THOROUGH vetting of the organization.
The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines, as formally ratified by the CA/Browser forum in 2007, that specify all the steps required for a CA before issuing a certificate, and includes: Verifying the legal, physical and operational existence of the entity, verifying that the identity of the entity matches official records, verifying that the entity has exclusive right to use the domain specified in the EV SSL Certificate and verifying that the entity has properly authorized the issuance of the EV SSL Certificate.
When thinking about website security it may be important to someone with a website to protect their online photos. Many people have a difficult time imagining that digital photos are able to be completely secured. In fact their are several ways to protect digital content. These include digital watermarks, trademarks and copyright.
Digital watermarks are the electronic versions of their traditional counterpart. Originally used in the photography market as a way of identifying the copyright owner of digital photos, digital watermarking is a means of embedding data into digital and analog content in order to identify its owner. The watermark becomes a permanent part of the content, even as it is distributed to others.
Digital watermarks cannot be removed or altered, making them a very important tool when fighting copyright infringement on the Web. Digital watermarks allow users to legally use content, while adding security to the content to prevent illegal usage.
Digital watermarks are “robust,” meaning they are able to survive attacks from potential hackers or any type of manipulation, in addition to providing information about the original owner.
Another form of protection for creators is copyright. Copyright is a federal law of the United States that protects original works of authorship. A work of authorship includes literary, written, dramatic, artistic, musical and certain other types of works. Just by creating a work, an author or creator has the right to use the ‘circle c’ (c) and protect the work. The act of making is in itself enough to give certain rights to the creator or author.
One of the many terrific things about copyright is that it comes with a host of exclusive rights that allow the owner to do or authorize a number of things and exercise substantial control over his or her work. The copyright owner has the right to do four things (called exclusive rights):
Reproduce the copyrighted work; Display the copyrighted work publicly; Prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work; and Distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale, rental or lending, and/or to display the image.
One issue some copyright owners run into is the Fair Use Act. The purpose of the Fair Use Doctrine is to allow for limited and reasonable uses as long as the use does not interfere with owners’ rights or impede their right to do with the work as they wish. When it comes to photos, when in doubt, assume it’s subject to copyright and don’t use it without the appropriate permission.
Another option to secure content on a website, especially a name or phrase that is unique to the user is a trademark. A registered trademark gives you a very strong position if someone were to come along and try to confuse readers by creating a site with the same name or logo or something similar (even in another language). It also protects your ‘mark’ or blog or ‘brand’ name that you may use on a website.
The difference between copyright and trademark is that copyright exists automatically on creation of something (as listed above) but has limitations due to the ‘fair use doctrine’ and the author/creator must be vigilant on the web to be sure their work hasn’t been stolen or used without proper permissions or referencing. Trademark is a process that involves filing forms and making payment to prove that a brand or ‘name’ is unique to it’s owner and once established, is highly difficult for someone to infringe upon legally once established.
It’s useful to note that domain hosting and internet security companies offer different forms of website security, and if some or all of these options appeal to a business or website owner, they best research the domain host and the security features they offer to clients. SSL Certificates are especially important to keep trust of patrons who may be paying online with credit cards. The use of personal information of clients must also be highly protected and certain badges will and have been proven to gain the public’s trust.
Any website owner should think about what their needs are and what cost they need to invest in website security. Taking care of Trademarking of name and brand are a good idea, since later on it will be difficult to protect if stolen and once online, may reach many people in many countries where copyright laws do not exist. Protecting the web content and the client as well as the brand and name of the company are vital parts to safe use of a website for business purposes.