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Digital Certificates
SSL is normally used in tandem with a Digital Certificate. A Digital Certificate gives your customers the assurance that your Web site is legitimately yours and not that of an impostor. It contains information about who owns the certificate (company name, domain name, contact address, etc) as well as information about the issuing Certificate Authority (VeriSign, Thawte, etc). It also provides you with a legal basis to perform transactions on the Internet.

The secure Web server you order from us has a Digital Certificate embedded in the httpsd binary. Because the Digital Certificate is embedded in the secure Web server binary, you can only support one Digital Certificate per Virtual Server. Therefore, your Virtual Subhosting customers which share the same Virtual Server, must also share the same Digital Certificate.

The Default Digital Certificate
The default Digital Certificate embedded in your secure Web server is owned by us but includes the securesites.com domain name instead of our domain name. It is a Thawte wildcard certificate, which allows it to be used in conjunction with any http://wildcard.securesites.com/ URL without generating a domain name mismatch warning.

NOTE: Thawte Digital Certificates are supported by Netscape 3.0+ and MSIE 4.0+ Web browsers. Concerning MSIE Web browser support for wildcard digital certificates, the Thawte Server Certificates FAQ contains the following information.

Please note, however, that MSIE does not implement wildcard certificate name checking. Our own testing suggests that wildcards work with IE 4.0 and IE 5.0. Microsoft officially disapproves of wildcards, so we cannot guarantee that wildcarding will work with any Microsoft product for any period of time. We suggest you test this prior to making your request.

When you order SSL we will create a canonical securesites.com domain name that points to your Virtual Server, like this:

ACCOUNT-NAME.securesites.com

NOTE: A canonical securesites.com domain name is only automatically added once, when you order SSL for your Virtual Server. If you wish to have additional canonical securesites.com domain names pointing to the same Virtual Server, these must be ordered separately.

For example, the canonical securesites.com domain name for the Virtual Server with the account name "surfutah" is:

surfutah.securesites.com

The "surfutah" secure Web site can be accessed using this URL:

https://surfutah.securesites.com/

An ordering CGI can be accessed using HTML like this:

<form method="POST"
      action="https://surfutah.securesites.com/cgi-bin/order.cgi">

You may setup a similar service for your clients by ordering your own Thawte wildcard certificate for your domain name.

VeriSign and Thawte Digital Certificates
If you wish to obtain and install your own VeriSign or Thawte Digital Certificate, see:


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Last Modified: Thu Mar 29 18:35:11 2001 GMT
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A L S O  S E E
· Obtaining a Digital Certificate from VeriSign or Thawte
· Installing a Digital Certificate on Your Virtual Server
· Virtual Server Help