Security should always be a top priority for your online business, especially with all of the latest internet security breaches in the news. Recently, Google has begun taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in their search ranking algorithms and have started to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. This will become increasingly important over time as Google encourages all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep user information save on the web.
What is HTTPS? HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure which protects the integrity and confidentiality of your users’ data. For example, when a user enters data into a form on your site in order to subscribe to updates or purchase a product, a secure site protects that user’s personal information and ensures that the user communicates with the authorized owner of the site. Nowadays, users expect a secure online experience when providing data via a website.
With HTTPS, information is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:
1. Encryption—encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing your website or online store, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
2. Data integrity—data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
3. Authentication—proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into many other business benefits.
If you use the Nexternal eCommerce Platform, lucky for you, the new “Secure Domain Alias” feature allows you to use your Domain Alias on pages in your Online Store that are served using the secure protocol HTTPS. To allow your Domain Alias to be used in a secure environment, the alias must be added to a SANS UCC Certificate owned by Nexternal; a non-refundable, upfront, $150/year charge is applied to cover the cost of doing so. The steps to successfully use a Secure Domain Alias are:
1. Click the Request Certificate link (within Settings/Site Options) and complete the form.
2. Nexternal will request that your Domain Alias be added to a DigiCert UUC Certificate. Typical turnaround time for this task is 2 business days.
3. The owner of the domain that includes the Domain Alias must respond affirmatively to an e-mail from DigiCert to approve adding the domain to the certificate.
4. Nexternal will install the certificate. Typical turnaround time for this task is 10 business days.
5. Update the CNAME DNS record of the Domain Alias to point to an alternate nexternal.com domain provided by Nexternal.
6. Activate your Secure Domain Alias by checking the box provided at that stage.
If data security is important for your online business, start setting up your secure domain alias today!