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SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and SSL certificates are an important tool in ensuring safe data transmissions on the Internet. They’re particularly popular in credit card processing. In fact, it’s impossible to find a good credit card processing service that doesn’t provide some type of SSL certificate for secure online sales. By understanding the Secure Socket Layer and encryption, businesses can better protect their customers’ data and ensure better credit card handling overall.

SSL certificates basically work by encrypting customer data, a process which electronically scrambles information and prevents it from being read by an unauthorized party. Decrypting data passed through the Secure Sockets Layer requires appropriate authorization — otherwise, data is impossible to read or access. Authorization is provided by the use of public and private keys, which are essentially passwords used on either end of a connection to verify the identities of both the sender and the recipient. SSL certificates are especially useful in credit card processing because websites which gather sensitive customer information are more likely to be targeted by hackers and identity thieves. By requiring public and private keys and by using high-tech SSL-authorized encryption methods, websites can more completely protect sensitive customer information.

There’s a more practical set of reasons for using SSL certificates in credit card processing from a business perspective. SSL certificates can make a business seem more professional, as meeting SSL guidelines shows that a business is capable of taking the necessary steps to avoid potential data theft. Many customers insist on SSL certificates, and will refuse to use the credit card processing features of a website that doesn’t offer them. Modern web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer will often declare a website to be unsafe if SSL certificates aren’t in use, which can cripple business for any company. There can also be serious fines and other consequences for companies that don’t protect the sensitive financial data of their customers in accordance with state and federal laws.

The Secure Socket Layer is an important tool in the fight against phishing and credit card fraud. Businesses should look for a credit card processing company that uses SSL certificates for absolutely all online processing. Bank card processing companies can help to set up appropriate encryption for SSL certificates and can explain how authentication tokens are used. Regardless of the products or services that a company offers, customers expect a secure experience when buying through the Internet. The right credit card processing tools allow SSL certificates to be used more easily, which leads to improved security and better business for any company with online products.