CHECKLIST: How To
Set Up An SSL Certificate
On Your Website Or Server
SSL technology encrypts communication between web
browsers and website servers to help keep customer data safe.
Here’s a checklist of tasks to help your business put an SSL
certificate to work.
KNOW THE BASICS
SSL protection obscures transmitted data
using a public “key,” which a browser
accesses when navigating to your site; and
a private key, which only you know. Your
server can decrypt the information, but
hackers are out of luck.
Through your web host, upgrade to a
dedicated (rather than shared) IP address.
SSL issuers must ensure that traffic using
your key is going to your site and not
another hosted at the same address.
CREATE A SIGNING REQUEST
A certificate signing request is encrypted
text to be included in your certificate:
organization and domain names, locality, etc.
Ask your web provider to do this, or create
one via your web hosting control panel.
ACQUIRE A CERTIFICATE
Some companies issue SSL certificates for a
small fee. Open-source options provide free,
automated access to SSL certificates. You
typically must create an account with the
certificate authority, which verifies information
and creates a public/private key pair.
If all goes well, your certificate authority
should email a .CRT file to install. Your web
provider might be willing to activate the
certificate, or you can do so, again via your
web control panel (“Install SSL Certificate”).
Enter “https://” and your domain name.
If you land on your site, the certificate is
working properly. If the webpage won’t
load, contact your certificate authority.
UPDATE YOUR SITE
Update any site links that transmit sensitive
data (account logins, shopping carts,
payment gateways) so that users will access
your site through the secure, https-enabled
URLs instead of just http.