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Secure Sockets Layer
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Secure Sockets Layer on HelpQuest.Com

Setting up SSL on your Website

What is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)?

Netscape has designed and specified a protocol for providing data security layered between application protocols (such as HTTP, Telnet, NNTP, or FTP) and TCP/IP. This security protocol, called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), provides data encryption, server authentication, message integrity, and optional client authentication for a TCP/IP connection.

Secure sockets Layer (SSL) is an open, nonproprietary protocol. It has been submitted to the W3 Consortium (W3C) working group on security for consideration as a standard security approach for World Wide Web browsers and servers on the Internet. Netscape is working with the W3C on developing and standardizing common, robust security mechanisms and protocols for the Internet, and it intends to give full support to such mechanisms and protocols as they are standardized.

Click here to learn more about Secure sockets Layer.

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What certificate authority (CA) do you use on your server?

We use Verisign as our Certification Authority (CA). Verisign is a recognized CA by 98% of all Internet browsers.

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What browsers will recognize your certificate without prompting?

Our authentic Verisign certificates will be recognized by all versions of Netscape 2.0 and up as well as all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and up.

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Why do I get a warning prompt when I try to access a secure webpage on HelpQuest.Com?

You are probably using an old browser such as MSIE 2.0 or earlier. To find out what version of browser you are using, go to "Help" and then "About".

Remember than 98% of all browsers on the Internet will recognize our Verisign certificate. If you are getting a warning prompt, you probably need to upgrade your browser.

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What are the specific security features of HelpQuest.Com's SSL?

Our server is running Apache SSL and we use High Grade Encryption, RC4 with 128-bit secret key encryption. We feel this level of security is comparable to the security provided by your local Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).

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Can I set up secure sockets layer on my website hosted by HelpQuest.Com?

Yes, all clients of HelpQuest.Com are entitled to set up Secure Sockets Layer on their website(s). This protocol can be very useful for clients who intend on sending sensitive information (personal information and/or credit card information) through their website. Many persons will demand SSL before they will place an order online.

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How much does it cost to setup SSL on my website?

Unlike most hosting services, HelpQuest.Com does not charge any additional fees for clients who utilize this service. Your standard hosting fee includes your use of Secure Sockets Layer.

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Do I need my own certificate to use SSL on my website or can I use the HelpQuest.Com certificate?

You do not need your own certificate to use SSL on our server. Getting your own SSL certificate requires going through a CA and is a complicated process, not to mention costs anywhere from $100 to $350 per year!

Using our certificate is just as secure as using your own certificate, is absolutely free of charge, and is ready-to-use.

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How do I set up SSL on my website using HelpQuest.Com's certificate?

Setting up SSL on our website hosted by HelpQuest.Com can be done in two ways. The first way demonstrated below will bring a prompt to visitors saying that the certificate is owned by HelpQuest.Com. The visitors must press continue to proceed. This is totally unavoidable through this method, as Netscape and Microsoft have made this prompt a part of the browser since the certificate and your domain do not match (the certificate was authored for HelpQuest.Com by Verisign). Just substitute the http with https in front of your URL. For example:

  • Sub-Domain: https://www.your_sub-domain.helpquest.com
  • Virtual Domain: https://www.yourdomain.com

Remember that using SSL by this method will cause a prompt to occur before visitors can continue on to your website. The next way to setup SSL will not cause a prompt to occur.

The following method describes how to setup SSL on your website while avoiding any and all prompts, so visitors who request your website over Secure Sockets Layer will be taken there with no prompts.

Please enter your domain name (example: helpquest.com) in the textbox below and press the "Submit!" button. This will automatically take you to your website via SSL and you will not get a warning prompt. Once you have been transported to your secure website, make note of the URL so that you may use it in the future when SSL is needed on your website. At any time, you may come back and use this tool.

For additional directions on accessing your site via SSL, please visit your Personal Control Panel and select the SSL link from the main page (under Personal Configurations).

If you are having problems getting SSL to work on your website, it is most likely due to you not using https instead of http. You can NEVER access your site via SSL by just typing in www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com.

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How do I setup SSL on my website using my own certificate?

You will need to supply us with information regarding the certificate as well as the key. Please contact us at support@helpquest.com. We suggest you use our certificate rather than purchasing your own because....

  1. our certificate is recognized by 98% of all browsers,
  2. is free and,
  3. can be used instantly.

Click here for information on setting up SSL on your site hosted by HelpQuest.Com using our certificate right now.

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