This is a great question I came across recently. A marketer who uses an affiliate system hosted on her own domain was a bit concerned about the requirement for affiliates to enter their social security numbers of Employee Identification Number. She wanted to make her potential affiliates feel safe about entering the information. She knew that sites that began with https:// are *usually* secured. How does she get that? Entering https:// on her own site gives an error.
This is what she’ll need:
- A static, dedicated IP address (not the same as dedicated web host although dedicated hosting comes with an IP). You can usually purchase this as an add on from your web host. You’ll probably pay a few bucks more every month to have a special IP number just for you to use.
- A Secure Sockets Layer certificate or better known as SSL certificate. You can purchase this from your web host – many do provide this service. It is a yearly fee and cost anything from $80 a year to thousands a year. You can also purchase this from other places like RapidSSL.com or Geotrust.com but I find going through my host is easier, quicker and cheaper too.
Once you have the two above, your web host can install it for you. I don’t recommend installing it yourself. I’ve done it and it can get confusing. The web host can and should get you set up and running within a day or two. I recommend Reliable Webs who are fabulous helping out in this area.
To use your brand new secure URL simply point the page you want to ‘secure’ to the https version. For example, if your regular URL is:
The just link to:
If the certificate is installed properly you will see the lock on your browser. You might also want to ‘force’ those specific page URLs to https so that people don’t get on the unsecured URL unintentionally. Also remember, if you have anything on that page. Images, linked files etc remember to use https so the browser will not complain that some items on the page are not secure.
You have to keep in mind that the https does not mean information once on your server is secure. The https only protects the transfer of the information from the user’s computer to your server and vice versa. Once on your server it is your responsibility to take steps to keep that data safe.Photo by svilen mushkatov