A secure server certificate (also called cert) resides on a web server. Combined with the security components built into the web server and the visitor's browser, the secure server certificate provides the following functions for secure e-commerce transactions:
- Confirmation to a visitor's browser that the company represented by the current domain being visited is, in fact, the company listed in the certificate. This prevents someone from just setting up a web site and claiming they are your company and accepting payments from visitors.
- Sends all confidential information (such as credit card information) from the visitor's browser to the web server in a secure mode using encryption technology that prevents this information from being easily intercepted and used. This prevents someone from obtaining the confidential information during the transmission to the web server.
- Adds a level of trust between the visitor and you by assuring them that the transfer of information will be encrypted and secure.
The first two functions are performed automatically by the web server and browser without any intervention required by the visitor.