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Understanding SSL Certificates ?

 
What is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)?
         Secure Sockets Layer is a technology used by certain websites to communicate with the browser safely. The websites using Secure Sockets Layer can be characterized by the https:// before the site address ( Eg: https://www.tipsworld.org ). A browser using the secure Sockets Layer characterized by a lock icon at the bottom or top of the browser.
   
                                            SSL is a cryptographic protocol which provide secure communication on the internet. TSL is an old version of SSL. SSL is continuously under  development and modifications and new versions will be coming occasionally. Secure Sockets Layer protocol use digital certificates for ensuring the accuracy and secrecy of data delivery between browser and server( website ). This is mainly used  for high security websites for banking and e-commerce generally.
        Secure Sockets Layer protocol verifies the information supplied by the digital certificates of website and browser and connect these two parties in a highly safe way.
Advantage?
      The information:n exchanged between you and the website takes an encrypted form.
For Example – If you type User name and Password in a secure website and press the Login button, at very same moment the information you entered will take a very different form
Eg:
User name – tipsworld——- will get converted to ——-  g@5$&*</? etc.
Password – software ——- will get converted to ——- q *&4@&!+ etc.
                       Which can be understood only by the website/ server receiving your information. So if any person who intercept your communication to see what you typed, he can only see some entirely different characters from which he cant guess anything.
What are SSL Certificates ?
       SSL Certificates are issued to website owners by established Certifying Authorities  after verifying their exact information. SSL Certificates will be like any other computer files. You must download and install the certificate in your browser to communicate with a particular website which uses it.

Did my browser have enough Certificates ?
                        The answer is majority but not all. Because your browser comes with lot of pre-loaded certificates from major Websites / Certifying Authorities. Thus the certificates required to communicate with major websites such as GMail, Yahoo, Hotmail and many other banking websites are already loaded in your browser, that is why you are not experiencing problems in connecting  with them. But this never tells that you have all certificates. Certain certificates are unique for certain websites and these Certificates and certifying Authorities may be rare, so you have to install the certificate manually to communicate with them.
How to install Certificate for a particular website  ?
 Steps
1.  Download Certificates from Website and extract it to a folder
2.  Open Browser and select Tools Options
3.  Select Advanced Encryption and click on View Certificates button

4.  In the Certificate Manager, click on Authorities Import

5.  Select the certificate file from the extracted folder and Install It.

Security tips while browsing Banking Sites   ?

Login Security

  • Log on to the service by typing in the URL in the address bar. Make sure that the page opening up is from the genuine service provider.
  • Enter your user-id and password only in the space provided in the site login screen. Any changes from normal make sure there is no attempt to steal your personal information before providing it.
  • Never share your passwords. Do not divulge your password to any one. Keep it a secret.
  • Do not store passwords in a file on ANY computer system (including mobile or similar devices) without encryption.
  • Never write down a password. Someone may discover the password. Make the password difficult for others to guess or crack but easy for you to memorize and remember. Make your own acronym.
  • Do not let your computer remember your password. Never accept auto complete option provided by your computer/ browser.
  • Do not provide user-id and passwords on any page that appears when you click on a hyperlink received through email.
  • A strong password must have
    – At least five different characters. Repeated characters are easy to crack
  – At least three different character types – digits, lowercase, uppercase,  punctuation, etc.
     – No long alphabetic or numeric sequence
     – No forbidden characters such as delete
 -No dictionary words, names of person, place , thing, birth date, phone number, vehicle registration number, etc.
  • Never access the internet banking from an un-trusted system.
  • Change the password on the first occasion you access the service.

Virtual Keypad ?

What is a Virtual keypad?

A pictorial representation of your normal keyboard on-screen. All the keys are represented but not in the same order as your normal keyboard. The virtual keyboard layout will change each time you enter the site or refresh the screen.

This security feature is implemented on the most financial secure sites.

 How is it safer than the passwords entered by Keyboards?

When you enter password though your normal keyboard, both the password and the sequence of entry of the password remain constant, allowing advanced hackers to know your password. When you use the virtual keyboard, the password is entered using the mouse and as the keyboard layout is random, provides you a better protection of your passwords. If you are using a cyber cafe, your keyboard may have a key-logger that records all the keys that you enter. A virtual keyboard simply bypasses these devices!

System Security

  • Latest version of browsers should be used to connect to the Internet as they afford higher level of security.
  • Operating System (OS) of the computer system should be upgraded promptly. Newer version of the operating system would help you make your system more secure.
  • Install the latest Antivirus software on your computer system. This will reduce the risk of virus attacks. Continuous updation of these antivirus software  will offer more resistance to newer viruses.
  • Install personal firewall on your computer system will provide added level of security.
  • Use spyware/adware removal software to eliminate the potential risk caused through pop-up windows by removing any spyware or adware installed on your computer.
  • Downloads from unfamiliar sources may contain hidden programs or viruses that can compromise your computer’s security.
  • Install a screen saver with password protection.
  • When not in use, disconnect your computer system from the Internet to avoid unwanted access to the information on your system. Even if you have a firewall installed, this is a step you can take to help protect yourself.
  • Be sure the URL you are accessing has ‘https://’. The s indicates secured and the site uses encryption.
  • Always logout completely , using the following steps:
1.      Logout the application by clicking on logout button.
2.      Close all the browser windows.

You are Secured Now !

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2 thoughts on “Understanding SSL Certificates ?

  1. Thаnks for writing аbout >
    Underѕtanԁing ЅSL Certificates ? | [ tipsworld.org ] < Liked it!

  2. Your Blog containing basic information about SSL Certificate is very useful and understandable.