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You can’t do e-Commerce or exchange personal information without an encrypted connection. You could try, but you won’t be able to accept credit cards and would be a sitting duck for hackers and fraudsters.

When looking for an SSL certificate to enable an SSL secured connection, people tend to look at factors such as price, the degree of identity verification and cost saving features like the use on multiple domains. Often overlooked is the issuing Certificate Authorities degree of browser compatibility.

Why SSL Certificate Browser Compatibility Matters

SSL Certificates will only be recognized by a best internet browser if the Root Certificate of the CA is present within the “trusted Root Certificates” store of the browser. CA Root Certificates are added into the trusted Root Certificate store by the browser or operating system vendor, such as Microsoft or Netscape. In general SSL vendors need to be audited to WebTrust complaint standards set by the AICPA.If you use an SSL Certificate that has been issued by a CA Root Certificate not present in the trusted Root Certificate store in one of the commercially available browsers then the visitor’s browser will display a warning message. Clearly you need to avoid such warnings. Ensure you avoid such warnings by selecting a cost effective SSL Provider with the highest browser acceptance level across all browsers.

What’s the right level of browser ubiquity ?

Anything less than 99% browser ubiquity will cause issues with some customers – customers who may otherwise purchase from your site: REMEMBER CUSTOMERS = $$!

High Assurance providers such as Comodo and the leading certificate authorities all provide 99% browser ubiquity and are included in the base install of Windows XP and higher. However, many smaller providers offer 96% browser ubiquity and sometimes less. A seemingly small percentage difference can cause the loss of a significant amount of real business and impact on customers and site visitors because it will require such customers to upgrade to avoid Security Warnings. Security warnings tell them that you cannot be trusted to do business with.

What about older browser versions?

Although you can examine your web logs to determine the browsers used by your customers it is unlikely you will need to cover very old browsers. All browsers are free and therefore updating browsers is simple for consumers.