How Does A Digital Certificate Work?

SSL certificate, Digital Certification, encryption etc sound like ominous terms :) So we thought we would simplify them for you. Let’s begin by defining Secure Sockets Layer or SSL as it is commonly known. SSL is a commonly-used protocol for managing the security of message transmission on the Internet.

SSL or Digital certificates ensure that each website that is used for gathering and transmitting customer information is genuine and guarantees the safety of this information. It is a must have for any website that requires transfer of information, especially in case of e-commerce websites where sensitive information such as Credit Card Numbers, Personal Information etc is exchanged between the client browsers and website servers.

So how does SSL work?

SSL uses public key encryption technology for authentication. Public key encryption requires that a public key and a private key be generated for an application. Let us now understand how public and private keys are used.

Data encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted using its corresponding private key and vice versa. The private key is stored in a key database file that is password-protected. Only the owner of the private key can access it to decrypt messages that are encrypted using the corresponding public key. Sounds complicated? Read on to know more.

In order to ensure maximum security, a digital certificate is issued by a third-party Certificate Authority (CA) like VeriSign. A digital certificate verifies the identity of an entity through the following fields:

Organizational Information

This section of the certificate contains information that uniquely identifies the owner of the certificate, such as organizational name and address. You supply this information when you generate a certificate using a certificate management utility.

Public key

The receiver of the certificate uses a public key to decipher encrypted text sent by the certificate owner to verify its identity. A public key has a corresponding private key that encrypts the text.

Certificate Authority’s Distinguished name

The issuer of the certificate identifies itself with this information.

Digital Signature

The issuer of the certificate signs it with a digital signature to verify its authenticity. This signature is compared to the signature on the corresponding CA certificate to verify that the certificate originated from a trusted certificate authority.

Why is a Digital Certificate important?

A website is one of the best ways for any business to find new customers. But this will only happen if the website is well designed and necessary security measures are in place. Typically SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer, logins and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.

Most Internet users expect any personal information they provide on the Internet, to remain confidential and integral. Many people will never buy your products or services online unless they are sure about the confidentiality of their data. The SSL certificate is the only way to secure your online transactions and to show your customers that you really value their privacy.

An important component of SSL is the ‘Secured by GlobalSign’ Seal which is a globally recognized trust mark, available for display in 13 different languages. When you download your seal, choose the size and language most appropriate for your web site.

 

When you accept credit card numbers online or ask users to create an account, you need to show that your website can be trusted. The ‘GlobalSign Secured Seal’ gives your web site instant credibility in the online world by visually reassuring customers that your site’s identity has been verified and that it is secured with a SSL certificate. Hope this gives you a good overview of the value & role of a Digital Certificate in our online economy.

PS: We’re revamping our SSL page. Check it out later and tell us what you think :)

Simple Tips To Secure Your WordPress Blog/Website

With the growing hacking attempts, here goes some simple but useful tips to secure your WordPress blog /sites.

Tip 1 : Don’t use ADMIN as the user name

Use a completely random username with the administrative rights. If you are using admin as the username for the administrator login then you are just giving the main entrance key to the hacker.

Tip 2 : Use Strong Password

Make it complex. Use the combination of upper case & lowercase letters, numbers along with special characters. The weak passwords can be easily cracked by the “Brute Force” attack. Change your passwords often.  Don’t use simple passwords like password, 123456, 12345678, abc123, qwerty, etc.

Tip 3 : Plugin Management

Update all active plugins and delete all inactive ones.  Click on Plugins >> Installed Plugins and click on update automatically to update a particular plugin.  The updated versions of the plugins are just not bug free but they are also more secured.

Tip 4 : Backup Your Data Regularly

Remember your WordPress blog database possess your hard work in the form of post, comments & likes. Perform a daily or weekly backup of your blog/website so that you can restore your blog/website.

Tip 5 : Upgrade to Latest WordPress version

Right now, the latest stable WordPress Version is WordPress (Version 3.4.2). Just check out whether you have updated it or not.  You must be asking why to update when everything is running fine? The WordPress development team keeps coming up with changes and upgrades to fix various security holes, so with an updated version your website/blog become more secure.

Enjoy Blogging!!

8 Ways to Safeguard your WordPress Blog from Hackers

You’ve treated your blog like your baby and nurtured it, complete with pictures and proofread everything you’ve written. You might have an average of 300 posts until date and you’ve invested so much time and sweat in making them perfect.

You also have a decent follower base (100+ followers) and a massive number of comments, at least 5000+ good comments by good people who truly appreciate what you blog about.

The above scenario is an absolute delight, until THIS happened!

We can totally relate to this (not that it’s ever happened to us, touchwood) and to see this happen to your very own blog is a nightmare.

But fear not! We’re here with a set of tips that’ll help you keep your WordPress blog safe and secure :)

1. Take a Back-Up!!

Your WordPress database contains every post, every comment and every link you have on your blog. If your database gets erased or corrupted, you stand to lose everything you have written. There are many reasons why this could happen and not all are things you can control. With a proper backup of your WordPress database and files, you can quickly restore things back to normal.

2. Do you have the latest WordPress Version?

You should always make sure that your blog’s version is up to date. WordPress team creates patches to help fix security holes. Follow wordpress feed to find out about the latest updates or you could simply login to your admin.

3. Delete “Admin” User

Just to make hackers work harder, bin this. Create a new user with administration rights, and give the user a nickname (for public display) that is not the same as the username. Then log out, log back in as the new user, and delete the original “admin” user.

4. Install WP Security Scan

This plugin is the really awesome. It’s simple and automates stuff. It will scan your wordpress blog for vulnerabilities and inform you if it finds any malicious codes etc. If the texts are in green in the admin panel then you should be good.

5. Scan Every Theme and Plugin You Want to Install

This is especially important if you download your themes and plugins from other websites online, or if you’re using cracked plugins and themes. You never know when a sleazy programmer will put a little code in your theme or plugin, or when that cracked software you’re downloading will be virus infected.

Don‘t just wait to get hacked before you realize this, so make sure you scan every theme and plugin you want to install on a regular basis; scan them with your own antivirus before you install them.

6. Create a .htaccess File in “wp-admin/”

.htaccess (hypertext access) is the default name of directory-level configuration files that allow for decentralized management of configuration when placed inside the web tree. .htaccess files are often used to specify the security restrictions for the particular directory.

Open a new text file and paste this –

preg_replace(‘/<\/?p( [^>]*)?>[ ]*/’, ‘ ‘, preg_replace(‘/

[ ]*/’, ‘ ‘, ‘

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

‘))

Save the file as .htaccess and upload it to your “wp-admin/” folder, i.e., to http://myblog.com/wp-admin/

7. Hide Your Plugins

If you’re not sure whether they’re hidden or not, navigate to http://myblog.com/wp-content/plugins. If you see a 404 error page, they’re hidden. Otherwise, you’ll see them listed.

8. Install Plugin that Monitors Your Files and Notify You of Changes Immediately

You can also tell your hosting provider to help you configure your server to notify you in case there is any change in any of your files at any time, or you can look for a plugin that makes this easy.

A lot of little changes happen to our blog every day, but the reality is that some of them shouldn’t be. It is important for you to make sure you don’t come to know about any of these changes lately, so make sure you regularly monitor your sever and wordpress installation for any changes.

That’s it. Your blog is more secure, and way less hackable. Go make content!

Protect Your Online Identity

The online space has seen an enormous growth in the past few years, and today, mostly everyone owns a domain name. When you register a domain name, you are obliged to provide personal information as the domain name owner. This information is publicly available once your domain name goes live. This is where Privacy Protect comes in to play.

Privacy Protect is a WHOIS privacy service which is used to protect confidential information of domain owners. This protects the registrant from having their personal contact information displayed to the public. Whenever you register a domain your contact information associated with that domain is displayed in the WHOIS database.

The WHOIS database is an online database that secures your most confidential information, viz., postal address and telephone number which can be viewed by anyone.

Privacy protection substitute’s generic information in place of the details associated with the domain registrant (you). If your domain has privacy protection services then your personal contact details will not be displayed in the public WHOIS database. Domain privacy helps protect you primarily against spammers or identity thieves who would use your personal information for personal gain or unsolicited purposes.

How does Privacy Protect work?

When you enable Privacy Protection on a domain name, Host Byte replaces all your publicly visible contact details with alternate contact information, so that when a WHOIS query is performed on the domain, an alternate mailing address, email address and phone number are displayed.

Requests to view your information are directly sent to you (the domain owner) and you can decide whether you would want to share your details or not.

What is WHOIS Farming?

Everyday domain owner’s information is harvested by spammers from publicly available WHOIS to send spam. This means that people farm (collect) data from the WHOIS directory, obtain your contact information and send you unsolicited emails or make telemarketing calls.

When you Register a domain name with a Registrar, the Whois of your domain name lists your personal information (such as Name, Company Name, Address, Telephone Number, Email Address) as Contact Details for that domain name. This information becomes available to anyone who performs a Whois lookup of your domain name.

Your personal information is, therefore, at risk from being manipulated by data miners, who can then target you via junk email, prank telephone calls, postal messages, fax messages, etc..

Using Host Byte‘s Privacy Protection service, you may immediately put a stop to such abuse. When you enable this service for your domain name, we replace your Contact Details in the Whois information with our generic contact details, thus, masking your personal contact details.

Host Byte provides automated activation of Privacy Protect (for the .COM and .NET extensions) with the purchase of every new domain name and domain transfers, at no extra cost.

Privacy Protection for existing domains is also available and can be enabled from the Customer Control Panel.

How to enable Privacy Protect for your domain?

1. Login to your Control Panel, search for the domain name and proceed to the Order Information view.

2. Click the Privacy Protection link

3. Here you may either enable/disable Privacy Protection:

  • To Enable Privacy Protection: Select the Enable radio button.

If Privacy Protection has been disabled for your domain name by hostbyte.in and you have not been provided the option to enable it, then you would only see the reason we have disabled it. Contact our Support Team at http://hostbyte.in/support-desk to know more.

  • To Disable Privacy Protection: Select the Disable radio button.

4. Click the Update Privacy Protection Status link

Host Byte does it’s best to ensure that your data remains safe and away from the public eye. You can read up more on our Privacy Policies here – http://hostbyte.in/privacy-policy