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SSL as Part of the Service

You need to protect yourself from the online world. That is why your data needs to be encrypted using SSL. But what is SSL, and how does it work at Nebu?

SSL as Part of the Service

Eric van Velzen
Posted on 15 April 2016 in Security
by Eric van Velzen
4 min
Nebu's basic principle is to provide a safe and secure environment for our clients, for the personal data, survey responses and market insight information they collect.

Nowadays securing data is one of the biggest challenges for the Market Research Industry. When you keep information online you can't lock it away to be 100% sure that no one else can see it. You need to be aware that during any transfer process both you and your customer might lose control over the data, and over who is accessing it. You need to do everything possible to prevent this from happening. You should secure devices, both on the browser and the hosting side. Unfortunately the pipes of the online world are out of your hands, but don't worry, there is something you can do.

You have one solution to protect you from losing control over your data in the online world: SSL. You use it whenever youneed to encrypt your customers' data as it passes through something unsecure, for example a cable or phone company.

What kind of information needs to be protected?

You can use SSL for a number of types of information to secure. The following are a few examples:

  • Credit card number
  • Username and password
  • Private and personal information
  • Email content

What is SSL?

SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a secure protocol, kind of a security technology developed for sending information securely over the Internet. It manages server authentication, client authentication and encrypted communication between devices.

You wonder what is actually a protocol, or an authentication?

Protocol is an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two machines.

Authentication is a process of determining if someone, in fact, is who they declare to be.

Now that all definitions are clear, let's summarize: SSL basically behaves as a digital passport which verifies the credentials of both yourself and the web server. When both identities are verified, SSL ensures sensitive data is protected. It means that your customers and potential clients don't have to worry about giving personal information on your website.

How do you know that you are protected by SSL?

In most cases the browser indicates it. It can be an icon shape of a lock or thumbs up in the browser bar. In some cases the whole URL background is green. You can get a detailed description about the certification by clicking on these icons.

What is encryption?

Encryption is the process of encoding the messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read them.

For example, when you log into our system, the computer encrypts your login information (username and password) so others can't steal your personal data as it is being transferred. So basically if someone catches a piece of your survey data, it will be just some gibberish.

The example below is the word "test" with some encryption:


Only those people who have the proper right (secret key) can decrypt and read it. A good encryption is basically unbreakable or at least it takes 10-20 years to break it and read it with current technology.

Why the necessity for encryption increases?

WhatsApp - the famous messaging app - decided to use the same development in protecting its users data and communication.

Nowadays we hear a number of stories about sensitive records being accessed or stolen. WhatsApp realized that if nothing is done, people's digital information and communication will be more vulnerable to attack in the years to come and they wanted to do something about it.

A few weeks back they announced that every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file and voice message you send via WhatsApp, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats.

You can read their announcement on their blog.

How does it work at Nebu?

Nebu makes it possible for clients to enforce SSL use per questionnaire, or to use SSL by default. In this way every piece of information you use is protected in our systems.

If you would like to ensure that respondents will reach the questionnaire via a secured connection only, just select the "SSL only" option when you add your questionnaire to ManageFrames. Checking this option provides greater safety in the transfer of sensitive data. In this case your questionnaires will have https at the very beginning of their URLs and your respondents' data and responses they given during the questionnaire will be encrypted.

Click on the image to view in full size


Would you like to learn more about security and data protection?

We're here to help you with our white paper. It helps to understand who should comply with regulations, the use of Encryption and much more. Download it now!


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