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FocusVision Knowledge Base

SSL and Virtual Domains

1:  What is an SSL certificate?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 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 remains private. 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.

SSL encryption technology exists as part of the larger topics of safe computing and secure networking. All websites must take precautions to insure that login credentials and any personally identifiable information (PII), or other confidential data is properly protected en route to the recipient server.

For more general information on SSL, please download this SSL for Beginners Document from Verisign.

Kinesis Survey Technologies offers free SSL-enabled sub-domains enabled for clients who do not require a Virtual Domain for their installations. For example, a client utilizing our free sub-domain for all products would have the following:

Additional Communities (optional):

To see detailed information about a website's SSL certificate in Chrome, Firefox or Opera, right click the padlock icon that appears to the left of the URL in the browser address bar. In Internet Explorer and Safari, left click the padlock icon that appears at the end of the address bar. The popup will provide all necessary certificate information, including the registrant, issuer, expiration date, and encryption type.

2:  What is a Virtual Domain?

A virtual domain allows you to brand your Kinesis Survey or Panel installation with your company's branded website URL. The traffic and web address allows you creative control over what link the respondents and end clients use to access your surveys, portals and installations. For example, a default installation using a Kinesis domain may look like this:

By utilizing a virtual domain, the client can change their URL so it appears as:

At present, Kinesis allows only one virtual domain per Survey installation (Panel installations allow more than one domain: Panel Properties) . A client installation using a virtual domain would have the following:

Additional Communities (optional):

3:  How do I acquire a Virtual Domain and SSL Certificate?

Kinesis requires all custom virtual domains to have an SSL certificate. To purchase a custom domain for your installations, we strongly recommend the following supported vendors:

  1. GoDaddy
  3. Verisign

Once you have a domain purchased, you will need an SSL certificate; this is available from the same list of supported vendors. We recommend purchasing your SSL from the same provider who handles your domain, though this is not a requirement. If you already own a custom domain from a different vendor, we suggest purchasing your SSL certificate from the above vendors. Kinesis requires a wildcard SSL certificate, as this provides you with unlimited sub-domains for your Survey and Panel installations. This allows for multiple communities, as displayed above.

4:  How do I implement my Virtual Domain and SSL Certificate?

Kinesis Survey Technologies requires that:

  1. All client virtual domains must use a wildcard SSL certificate. See above for more information.
  2. All custom domains MUST BE hosted on a Kinesis DNS server. We will provide this when the domain is implemented.

These requirements allow us to better serve you when we add installations or perform other services for you such as updates or server moves. SSL certificates ensure that your interactions with your installations are properly encrypted and cannot be easily compromised.

Once you have your domain and SSL, we'll need to configure the domain for use with your installation and start the process for implementing your SSL certificates. To do this, you'll want to do the following:

  1. Obtain a CSR by submitting the below information to Technical Support:

    CN (Domain Name) -
    O (Organization Name) - 
    OU (Organization Unit - i.e., "Market Research") - 
    C (Country, as a two letter abbreviation) - 
    ST (State) - 
    L (City) -

  2. Send your SSL certs to Technical Support. Your vendor will typically bundle one or more chain certificates with your domain .crt file. We'll require all of these to implement your SSL.
  3. Create a temporary login for the account that manages your domain (GoDaddy, Register, Verisign) and email it to Technical Support. We will configure your DNS for you. If this is not possible, let us know and we can provide you with the information needed to configure the DNS yourself.
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