NetNation Managed Hosting, Server Colocation Services and Shared Web Solutions
Customer Login Webmail Click for Canadian Site
Domain Name Registration
  spacermore extensions

Secure Server (SSL) FAQ

What is a secure WWW server?
How do I setup SSL?
How safe is a secure server?
With SSL installed in my account is all order form information encrypted?
How do I process Secure Credit Card Transactions?

What is a secure WWW server?
A secure WWW server uses the Secure Socket Layers (SSL) technology to establish an encrypted connection between the WWW server and the client. The SSL Protocol is designed to provide privacy between two communicating applications (a client and a server). Second, the protocol is designed to authenticate the server, and optionally the client.

How do I setup SSL?
There are two ways you can set up an SSL certificate through NetNation.

1. NetNation's in-house SSL certificate

Accessed through a URL at one of our secure servers, such as:

With the above method, visitors who click on the security information icon will see that the page(s) is secure through NetNation rather that through your company. All data transfer is encrypted and secure.

To get SSL setup for your account, please call: 1-888-277-0000 or email:

2. Geotrust SSL Certificate through NetNation
We've partnered with Geotrust to offer branded true 128-bit SSL encryption at affordable prices. Click here for more details about QuickSSL® Certificate.

With Geotrusts' certificate, your encrypted pages will look like this:

How safe is a secure server?
All keys generated by our private Certificate Authority at NetNation Internet use the keysize of 1024 bits. This keysize approaches industrial standards required for encryption. The other aspect is the implementation of SSL which is used on all Netscape's Secure Web server.

The SSL Protocol Specification

With SSL installed in my account is all order form information encrypted?
With SSL the security layer exists between the web site the person is connected to and the person's web browser. However, once the individual submits his/her information to you via email, a security risk exists. To tackle this problem, the email can be secured with PGP encryption. Once SSL is setup, you can configure PGP encryption with the provided mail-secure-pgp.vws script. Thus, with SSL & PGP a secure transaction is achieved.

How do I process Secure Credit Card Transactions?
Secure Credit Card Transactions can be done in one of two ways:

• Processing the Credit Card Manually
• Processing the Credit Card Online

In either case an Order Form must be created to gather the information needed from the customer. This form is always created in HTML but the "action" of the form must call a script program. This program could be one that emails the information to you or contacts the Online Card Processing facilities.

This order form must be called using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This is where the URL to the page starts with:

Using NetNation's certificate would mean that the SSL key is bound to a name that is owned by NetNation. For example, a URL to call you page might be:

Where the web page can be either an HTML page (.php) or an Active Server Page (.asp).

Please NOTE that SSL is NOT a standard that defines how Credit Cards transactions are processed. SSL is an encryption method that secures the information from someone's Web Browser to the Web site he/she is connected to.

This order form can be created as either straight HTML or as an ASP. NetNation offers a script, with its UNIX packages, that can be placed in any form. This script is called

1. Manual Processing of Credit Cards

With the order form in place, the typical scenario for Manual processing of Credit cards is done like this:
  • You must have a terminal "swipe card" machine and a merchant account of any bank
  • You would received the information from the order form either through email or you download a file containing the orders
  • You use the "swipe card" machine and manually enter in the credit card numbers and get authorization numbers
  • You send an email to the customer stating confirming or denying the order.
2. Online Credit Card Processing

With the order form in place, you need an Internet merchant account with a bank that supports online transactions.

This banking relationship allows an organization to accept credit cards online. Please note that you need an "Internet merchant account" for real-time online processing - a standard merchant account is not enough.

You'll also need an Internet Payment Processor. Often referred to as payment gateways, they allow you to authorize, settle and manage large amounts of credit card transactions online in real-time. Check with your bank to see which payment processors they accept and ensure that your shopping cart software is also compatible.