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Using SSL to Boost Customer Confidence in your Web Sites

For Microsoft iis5 Webserver

Why you need security for your website

The Internet has created many new global business opportunities for enterprises conducting online commerce. However, the many security risks associated with conducting e-commerce have resulted in security becoming a major factor for online success or failure.

Over the past 7 years, consumer magazines, industry bodies and security providers have educated the market on the basics of online security. The majority of consumers now expect security to be integrated into any online service they use, as a result they expect any details they provide via the Internet to remain confidential and integral. For many customers, the only time they will ever consider buying your products or services online is when they are satisfied their details are secure.

This guide explains how you can utilize Instant SSL to activate the core security technology available on your existing webserver. You will also learn how Instant SSL allows you to protect your customer's transactions and provide visitors with proof of your digital identity - essential factors in gaining confidence in your services and identity.

Using Instantssl's SSL Certificates to secure your online transactions tells your customers you take their security seriously. They will visibly see that their online transaction will be secure, confidential and integral and give them the confidence that you have removed the risk associated with trading over the Internet.

Using Security helps you realize the benefits of online commerce:

  • Cost effectiveness of online operations and delivery
  • Open global markets - gain customers from all over the world
  • New and exciting ways of marketing directly to your customers
  • Offer new data products and services via the Web

Only if you have visibly secured your site with SSL will your customers have confidence in your online operations. Read on to learn how SSL security technology or https helps you achieve the confidence essential for successful e-commerce.

What is SSL?

SSL is an abbreviation for "Secure Sockets Layer" is the standard security technology for creating an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers. In order to be able to generate an SSL link, a web server requires an SSL Certificate.

When you choose to activate SSL on your webserver you will be prompted to complete a number of questions about the identity of your website (e.g. your website's URL) and your company (e.g. your company's name and location). Your webserver then creates two cryptographic keys - a Private Key and a Public Key. Your Private Key is so called for a reason - it must remain private and secure. The Public Key does not need to be secret and is placed into a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) - a data file also containing your details. You should then submit the CSR during the SSL Certificate application process Comodo, the Instant SSL Certification Authority, who will validate your details and issue an SSL Certificate containing your details and allowing you to use SSL.

Your webserver will match your issued SSL Certificate to your Private Key. Your webserver will then be able to establish an encrypted link between the website and your customer's web browser.

For detailed application and installation instructions please refer to section "Step by step instructions to set up SSL on your webserver" of this guide.

Displaying the SSL secure padlock

The complexities of the SSL protocol remain invisible to your customers. Instead their browsers provide them with a key indicator to let them know they are currently protected by an SSL encrypted session - the Padlock:

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As seen by users of Internet Explorer

Clicking on the Padlock displays your SSL Certificate and your details:

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As seen by users of Internet Explorer

All SSL Certificates are issued to either companies or legally accountable individuals. Typically an SSL Certificate will contain your domain name, your company name, your address, your city, your state and your country. It will also contain the expiry date of the Certificate and details of the Certification Authority responsible for the issuance of the Certificate.

When a browser connects to a secure (https) site it will retrieve the site's SSL Certificate and check that it has not expired, it has been issued by a Certification Authority the browser trusts, and that it is being used by the website for which it has been issued. If it fails on any one of these checks the browser will display a warning to the end user.

Why should you use an Instant SSL Certificate?

Comodo, the Certification Authority behind InstantSSL, is the fastest growing SSL Provider in the world. Unlike other Certification Authorities, Comodo does not just provide SSL Certificates - they are a world-renowned security and cryptography service provider. When you are a customer of Comodo, you can feel safe knowing that your website security is provided by experts.

InstantSSL Certificates are the most cost-effective fully validated and fully supported 128 bit SSL Certificates you can buy today! You can contact the technical support team between 3am- 7pm EST (soon to be 24 hours). You can also feel safe in the knowledge that Comodo will validate your application in accordance with the latest digital signature legislation pertaining to Qualified Certificates. This validation is done effectively and quickly, ensuring you need not wait the traditional 3 working days normally associated with a fully validated SSL Certificate.

InstantSSL boasts industry leading browser ubiquity - comparable to Verisign and Thawte, however without the costs associated with other SSL Providers. Instant SSL Certificates are compatible with over 99% of browsers - including Internet Explorer 5.00 and above, Netscape 4.5 and above, AOL 6 and above and Opera 5.00 and above.

InstantSSL benefits summary:

InstantSSL Certificates are the most cost effective SSL Certificates you can buy which include:

  • Full validation conducted quickly - in many cases you can expect your SSL Certificate to be issued within minutes
  • Telephone, email, web support available 3am - 7pm EST
  • Over 99.3% browser compatibility
  • 128 bit strong encryption security
  • Backed by warranties ranging from $50 to $10,000

InstantSSL Certificates provide you with the key to successfully using SSL on your webserver.

Testing your webserver before you buy -
Try an SSL Certificate for free

Trial SSL Certificates provide full SSL functionality for 30 days and are fully supported by our expert technical support staff. Unlike test Certificates from other CAs, Instant SSL trial Certificates are issued using the same Trusted Root CA that issues our end-entity SSL Certificates and provides 99% browser ubiquity, and NOT by a different test CA. This unique service helps you fully test your system prior to your live roll out.

Trial SSL Certificates are ideal for anyone requiring proof of ease of installation, confirmation of high quality technical support and also confirmation of compatibility with the majority of the browsers that exist today. Trial SSL Certificates are also ideal for practicing with Certificates and learning about SSL implementation before committing to installing a Certificate on your live system.

Get your free 30 day trial SSL Certificate

Step by step instructions to set up SSL on your
Microsoft IIS 5x webserver

There are four stages to setting up SSL on your Microsoft IIS 5x webserver:

1. Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
2. Apply online
3. Installing your Certificate
4. Displaying your Secure Site Seal

1. Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

A CSR is a file containing your certificate application information, including your Public Key. Generate your CSR and then copy and paste the CSR file into the webform in the enrollment process:

Generate keys and Certificate Signing Request:

  • Select Administrative Tools from the Start Menu
  • Start Internet Services Manager

    SSL Tutorial

  • Open the Properties window for the website the CSR is for. You can do this by right clicking on the Default Website and selecting Properties from the menu
  • Open Directory Security by right clicking on the Directory Security tab

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  • Click Server Certificate. The following Wizard will appear:

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  • Click Create a new certificate and click Next.

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  • Select Prepare the request now, but send it later and click Next.

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  • Provide a name for the certificate, this needs to be easily identifiable if you are working with multiple domains. This is for your records only.
  • If your server is 40 bit enabled, you will generate a 512 bit key. If your server is 128 bit you can generate up to 1024 bit keys. We recommend you stay with the default of 1024 bit key if the option is available. Click Next

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  • Enter Organisation and Organisation Unit, these are your company name and department respectively. Click Next.

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  • The Common Name field should be the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or the web address for which you plan to use your Certificate, e.g. the area of your site you wish customers to connect to using SSL. For example, an Instant SSL Certificate issued for will NOT be valid for If the web address to be used for SSL is, ensure that the common name submitted in the CSR is Note that preceeding the FQDN with is NOT necessary. Click Next.

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  • Enter your Country, State and City. Click Next.

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  • Enter a filename and location to save your CSR. You will need this CSR to enroll for your Certificate. Click Next.

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  • Check the details you have entered. If you have made a mistake click Back and amend the details. Be especially sure to check the domain name the Certificate is to be Issued To. Your Certificate will only work on this domain. Click Next when you are happy the details are absolutely correct.

2. Applying for your Instant SSL Certificate Online

Visit and select your SSL Certificate product type. You will be required to submit the CSR into a webform. When you make your application, make sure you include the CSR in its entirety into the appropriate section of the enrollment form. When you view your CSR it will appear something like:


Be sure to copy the CSR text in its entirety into the application form, including the:


3. Installing your Instant SSL Certificate

Installing the Root & Intermediate Certificates

When your Instant SSL Certificate has been issued you will receive 3 Certificates via email from Comodo Security Services. Save these Certificates to the desktop of the webserver machine, then:

  • Click the Start Button then select Run and type mmc
  • Click File and select Add/Remove Snap in
  • Select Add, select Certificates from the Add Standalone Snap-in box and click Add
  • Select Computer Account and click Finish
  • Close the Add Standalone Snap-in box, click OK in the Add/Remove Snap in
  • Return to the MMC

A. To install the GTECyberTrustRoot Certificate:

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  • Right click the Trusted Root Certification Authorities, select All Tasks, select Import.

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  • Click Next.

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  • Locate the GTECyberTrustRoot Certificate and click Next.
  • When the wizard is completed, click Finish.

B. To install the ComodoSecurityServicesCA Certificate:

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  • Right click the Intermediate Certification Authorities, select All Tasks, select Import.
  • Complete the import wizard again, but this time locating the ComodoSecurityServicesCA Certificate when prompted for the Certificate file.
  • Ensure that the GTECyberTrustRoot certificate appears under Trusted Root Certification Authorities
  • Ensure that the ComodoSecurityServicesCA appears under Intermediate Certification Authorities

C. Installing your SSL Certificate

  • Select Administrative Tools
  • Start Internet Services Manager

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  • Open the properties window for the website. You can do this by right clicking on the Default Website and selecting Properties from the menu.
  • Open Directory Security by right clicking on the Directory Security tab

    SSL Tutorial

  • Click Server Certificate. The following Wizard will appear:

    SSL Tutorial

  • Choose to Process the Pending Request and Install the Certificate. Click Next.
  • Enter the location of your certificate (you may also browse to locate your certificate), and then click Next.
  • Read the summary screen to be sure that you are processing the correct certificate, and then click Next.
  • You will see a confirmation screen. When you have read this information, click Next.
  • You now have a server certificate installed.

Important: You must now restart the computer to complete the install

Open the Properties of the default website and ensure that SSL port contains the number 443 (it should default to this number automatically). You may want to test the Web site to ensure that everything is working correctly. Be sure to use when you test connectivity to the site.

4. Displaying your Secure Site Seal

As a valued Instant SSL customer we encourage you to display the Instant SSL secure site seal to help promote your secure site (https) to customers. The secure site seal is free to all Instant SSL customers.