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SUPPORT
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E-Commerce General:
What is E-Commerce?
What is a "Shopping Cart Program" and where can I get one?
What is SSL?
How do I use ProHosting's secure server?
What's the difference between using ProHosting's secure server and getting my own Digital ID?
Will SSL allow me to accept credit cards?


What is E-Commerce?
E-Commerce stands for Electronic Commerce. Just like e-mail stands for electronic mail, and like electronic mail, electronic commerce allows someone to buy and sell products and/or services over the Internet.


What is a "Shopping Cart Program" and where can I get one?
A shopping cart program allows you to offer products to your clients with an easy to use interface that generally allows them to go to different pages within your site and select items to put in their virtual "Shopping Cart". When they are done, they check out and the shopping cart program calculates the total.

There are hundreds of Shopping cart programs available, it will be up to you to choose the one that is right for your products. Try looking in our Reference pages, which contain a wealth of information about Web publishing.


What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and uses encryption along with a Digital ID to provide the ability to transfer data securely over the Internet. Below is the definition of what a Digital ID is, found off of VeriSign's web page:

Digital IDs are the electronic counterparts to driver licenses, passports, and membership cards. You can present a Digital ID electronically to prove your identity or your right to access information or services online. Digital IDs, also known as digital certificates, bind an identity to a pair of electronic keys that can be used to encrypt and sign digital information. A Digital ID makes it possible to verify someone's claim that they have the right to use a given key, helping to prevent people from using phony keys to impersonate other users. Used in conjunction with encryption, Digital IDs provide a more complete security solution, assuring the identity of all parties involved in a transaction.

For more information please visit their homepage at http://www.verisign.com.
You can also find SSL purchasing information at http://thawte.com.


How do I use ProHosting's secure server?

A secure server is physically not a different server. It is the same server you have your site on. The difference is in how you access them. The only thing you have to do is use a different URL to access it. You can use the same files you already have, the only thing that changes is the URL the you would hyperlink to.

To make your web pages secure, just replace your normal URL:
http://www.your_domain.com/your_form.html

with the following URL:

https://yoursecureserver/~yourusername/your_form.html

You can use this in links. The URL for your secure server can be found in the e-ma
il that you received from us when you setup your account.Or, you can log on to your netadmin: https://netadmin.prohosting.com or http://www.your_domain.com/netadmin Insert your domain name and password. Inside Netadmin, there are several Categories.  Your SSL URL is in your account Profile under the "Home" category. Click "Profile" and it will bring up a screen that will list some information along with the path to our secure server. Make sure you include the "S" in the https:// when you are using the secure version of your Web site. Also make sure you include the "~" in front of your username.


What's the difference between using ProHosting's secure server and getting my own Digital ID?


There are several differences. For starters, the URL is different, if you use our secure server with our Digital ID, the URL will look something like:
https://secure99.prohosting.com/~yourusername/your_form.html
You can find out your specific SSL URL from within your netadmin profile (under the Home category).

One disadvantage of this method is that those who wish to stay transparent, e.g. a reseller, would want their clients to believe they have their own hosting service. This method would make it obvious to their clients that they are not an independent hosting service.

If you decide to purchase and use your own Digital ID, the URL will look something like:
https://your_domain.com/your_form.html

Cost is another difference. If you use our Digital ID, you will have no extra costs. However, if you decide to purchase your own from VeriSign, there will be additional costs involved.

To find out more information about registering for your own Digital ID from VeriSign, please go to:
http://digitalid.verisign.com/server/index.html
To find out more information about gettign your own Digital ID from Thawte, go to:
http://www.thawte.com/html/SUPPORT/crypto/certs.html


Will SSL allow me to accept credit cards?


SSL will provide you with the secure environment to transfer the actual credit card information from the browser to the server, you will then be responsible for getting the credit card information from the server to you, one common way to do so is to use a system called PGP (encrypted e-mail). You can find out more information about PGP from the financial institution you will use to process the credit card information. You will then need to process the credit card information. You will also be required to obtain a Merchant Account from an accredited financial institution which you will use to process the credit card information. There are several options available to you for processing the credit card information once it is on the server. You can use a company like Authorize.net which enables you to securely process credit card transactions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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