Skip to content

A recipe for digital security: cooking up a website security certificate Posted in Digital Strategy, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed, 2 comments
Published on 23 March 2010

Preparation / Context: At school I was in the same year as Mark Shuttleworth. To paint a picture here, let me review our joint achievements. Mark led the school as head prefect; I led the detention list as head trouble-maker. While he was smoking Maths on the Eisteddfod leaderboard; I was smoking cigarettes behind the cricket scoreboard. Starting to see a pattern?

Home security

• Digital security certificates
• Website security certificates
• E-commerce
• Charity websites
• School websites
• Online loyalty clubs

People often ask, what did Shuttleworth do to make all his money? The short story is that he created a company that sold digital security certificates. Shuttleworth’s company, Thawte, was sold for around $350m in 2000, so those little certificate thingies must be pretty important. World Wide Creative uses them when we develop e-commerce portals for clients, so since we’re focusing on security this month, let me investigate a little further.

What is a website security certificate?
A website security certificate (or SSL certificate) is a seal that is awarded to a site whose code is effectively encrypted against external sources from viewing it or accessing it. In other words, if a website has sensitive data on it, such as a banking site with your private banking details, then the information displayed needs to be protected and accessible only by you. A site such as this is made up of code that is encrypted, and thus has a website security certificate to verify that it is safe for you to store private information. If a site has a valid certificate, it also means that a certificate authority has taken steps to verify that the web address actually belongs to that organization.

Why would I want a security certificate for my website?
The most common scenario is if you’re creating an e-commerce website, where your website visitors are required to input banking details in order to make a purchase. Other websites include finance, investment or banking sites, loyalty clubs or schools and charity organisations where donations are made. As a website owner or developer, your site must encrypt visitors’ information. It must have a valid certificate to protect both visitors and yourself against attackers who create malicious sites to gather information.

How can I tell if a site is secure?
Look at the address bar of the browser you’re using to visit a site: if it says “https:” instead of “http:” in the website address, it means that the site has been verified as a secure website. You will also notice a closed padlock in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window.

How do I obtain a website security certificate for my site?
You will need to contact a service provider such as Shuttleworths’ Thawte. The Thawte website has a good introduction guide to SSL, with clear resources to dig into.

Is security really something I need to take seriously?
Whether you’re a digital agency or a marketing manager in a firm, you only have to look at the number of sites being hacked into over the past 12 months. Even if your site doesn’t require secure log-ins or permissions, you must ensure that the correct steps are taken in order to protect your website content from being compromised.

These days, with the number of hackers, cyber-stalkers and virus-mongerers trawling the web increasing exponentially, it is essential that web developers and clients are serious about security. Mark Shuttleworth realised this early, and got wealthy as a result. Now, digital marketers must make the decision: lead the way or get stuck in online detention.

Read more posts by Fred Roed

Fred Roed

Fred is the CEO of digital marketing agency World Wide Creative. Fred co-founded The Heavy Chef Project, as well as Ideate, a forum for African entrepreneurs. Fred focuses on online brand building, marketing strategy and loud Hawaiian shirts. Fred is famous for his sartorial excellence, long diatribes about music and fanatical attention to detail when making pizza. Follow Fred on Twitter:

Related posts:

  1. Telephone number on your Website
  2. A Winning Recipe for A Secure Facebook Profile
  3. Is Your Website 2.0? Take this 7-Point-Checklist…
  4. “BBQ tips on cooking”
  5. To get it profitable, treat your blog like your website

Tagged with .

  1. parajumpers jackets says

    If you can’t do that it’s better to choose a cough syrup that you know about
    parajumpers jackets

  2. canada goose banff parka says

    Any information added while offline is going to be synched when you are back online
    canada goose banff parka