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Web hosting, Dedicated Servers and Server Co-location in Australia August 19th 2017 
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SSL Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is SSL?
2. When do I need to use SSL?
3. What is a digital key? What is a certificate?
4. Does SSL ensure security?
5. Why does a Comodo InstantSSL Certificate cost considerably less than other Certification Authorities?
6. Where can I find out more about the validation, issuance and management process?
7. Will Comodo InstantSSL Certificates work correctly with my customer's browsers?
8. What is the difference between an InstantSSL, InstantSSL Pro and PremiumSSL Certificate?
9. What does the Warranty actually mean?
10. I want an increased Warranty on my InstantSSL Certificate - how can I get this?
11. How long does it take to process my application?
12. Which versions of the SSL protocol is Comodo InstantSSL compatible with?

1. What is SSL?
SSL stands for "secure socket layer." It uses a public key and private key system. This system allows for the encryption of data between the Web server and visitors to the website that the SSL certificate has been issued for. Encrypted data greatly reduces the chances of a malicious third party intercepting and wrongfully using your transmitted information.

SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers. In order to be able to generate an SSL link, a web server requires an SSL Certificate. Comodo's InstantSSL is such a Certificate, and when installed, can be used to create secure links to protect transactions, passwords, personal details, etc.

2. When do I need to use SSL?
SSL should be used when you wish to provide enhanced security on a site. Common uses for SSL include online ordering systems and credit card processing. The encrypting provided by SSL makes it difficult for any intercepted information to be used.

3. What is a digital key? What is a certificate?
SSL uses a public key - private key system for its encrypting. The public key is used to encrypt the information. However, only the private key can be used to decrypt this information. This allows the public key to be known to all so that encrypted information may be sent to the server. The server can then use the private key, which is kept secret, to decrypt the information.

4. Does SSL ensure security?
SSL only enhances security, but it by no means guarantees it. Should a third party intercept your encrypted information, it would be extremely difficult for them to decrypt it without the key. In most real world cases, it is not practical to forcefully decrypt this information (without having the private key) because of the tremendous effort it would require.

The real security concern comes after the information is transmitted to and decrypted by the web server. Does it store it in a file that is easily readable? Are orders e-mailed plain text to a processing center? Are they printed out and left lying around? Do companies keep credit card numbers long after they need them? These are the real security concerns for the Internet, and although SSL provides for better security, it cannot begin to solve these problems.

5. Why does a Comodo InstantSSL Certificate cost considerably less than other Certification Authorities?
From Comodo: "InstantSSL has direct access to the IdAuthority, the largest commercial directory on the web. InstantSSL can therefore expediate the validation of an application. This efficient and highly effective validation method ensures we can issue a Certificate at a greatly reduced cost as reflected through our guaranteed lowest price in the industry as well as maintain a level of validation far superior to the methods employed by other SSL providers. In particular, the validation process employed to issue an InstantSSL, InstantSSL Pro or PremiumSSL Certificate is considerably more than just a domain name ownership check - we firmly believe this method alone to be insufficient to maintain the level of integrity in SSL that consumers have come to expect."

6. Where can I find out more about the validation, issuance and management process?
As a commercial Certificate Authority, Comodo publish a Certification Practice Statement. This policy document is available here.

7. Will Comodo InstantSSL Certificates work correctly with my customer's browsers?
In order for your customer's browser to seamlessly use an InstantSSL Certificate, they must trust Comodo's 'Root Certificate'. The Root certificate (provided by Baltimore Technologies) is trusted by over 99% of all current browsers, comprising all Internet Explorer 5.00 and above, Netscape 4x and above, Opera 5 and above and AOL 5 and above, and comes pre-installed with all Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. This browser compatibility makes Comodo InstantSSL as trusted as Verisign and Thawte.

8. What is the difference between an InstantSSL, InstantSSL Pro and PremiumSSL Certificate?
Comodo InstantSSL Certificates are designed to secure intranets and low cost transactions. Comodo InstantSSL Pro and Comodo PremiumSSL Certificates are designed to secure all web servers. Whilst technically the three 'flavours' of certificate are identical, they vary on the dollar amount of the warranty associated with each type of certificate. The Comodo InstantSSL certificate comes with a warranty of only US$49. However, Comodo InstantSSL Pro Certificates carry a warranty of US$2500 and Comodo PremiumSSL Certificates carry a greatly increased warranty of US$10 000 for your total peace of mind. For more information on warranties, please read the CA Comparison Chart.

9. What does the Warranty actually mean?
If Comodo were to mis-issue a certificate to a fraudulent site, and that fraudulent site has an SSL link with an end user and as a result of this the end user loses money. The end user had what they thought was a "trusted session". Comodo should never have provided the fraudster with the ability to engineer this situation. Hence, Comodo have taken out insurance to pay out money to the end user. How can they do this?

a. They value the end customer
b. They believe the insurance provided greater peace of mind hence allows the merchant to sell more products
c. Most importantly, they value their validation techniques (delivered through www.idauthority.com)

Comodo pre-validate customers and provide validation that is far higher than the majority of other SSL providers. Some CA's have very weak validation hence they decide not to offer insurance! Finally, it is worth pointing out, that Comodo offer high validation, but not at the compromise of speed. You can still obtain SSL instantly.

10. I want an increased Warranty on my Comodo InstantSSL Certificate - how can I get this?
If you require an increased warranty on your SSL Certificate, choose from the Comodo InstantSSL Pro or Comodo PremiumSSL Certificates option. This provides a greatly increased warranty of US$2500 and US$10 000 respectively.

11. How long does it take to process my application?
Provided Comodo have sufficient validation information available through the IdAuthority (as described in their CPS), your Comodo InstantSSL, Comodo InstantSSL Pro or Comodo PremiumSSL certificate can be issued in only minutes. If additional verification processes must be used to validate your application, the issuance process may take slightly longer. In such cases they guarantee that the Certificate is issued within 2 working days.

12. Which versions of the SSL protocol is Comodo InstantSSL compatible with?
InstantSSL is compatible with any browsers and webservers using SSL version 3 - the de facto SSL implementation. SSL version 1 and version 2 have been superseded by version 3 for a number of years, mainly due to the inherent security flaws found in these old versions. All web browsers developed after Internet Explorer 3 and Netscape 3 use SSL version 3 (however still support older SSL protocol versions). If your webserver is only capable of supporting versions 1 and 2 of the SSL protocol we strongly recommend you contact your webserver software vendor for an update - these protocols are flawed. For more details on why SSL version 2 is no longer used can be found here:
http://www.eucybervote.org/Reports/MSI-WP2-D7V1-V1.0-02.htm


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