Digital Certificates for Practitioners in Private Practice: What to Avoid

Last year, I described my experiences trying to renew the digital certificate which enables this site to process data securely. Having battled with a company called RegisterFly, I wound up having a very pleasant experience with GoDaddy. Now a colleague who works in clinical trials has passed on news that the company I battled with was so bad it has actually been stripped of its ICANN accreditation. Caveat emptor!

Thanks to a colleague who works in clinical trials for passing on news of a decision at the end of May which led to GoDaddy.com taking over the entire domain portfolio of RegisterFly.com. I posted last year about my atrocious experiences dealing with RegisterFly, and my comments are included in part two of our article on buying a digital certificate for your private practice or other website. (Part two of that article recounts my own purchasing experiences; see part one for an introduction to SSL and digital certificates.)

It turns out that ICANN actually took the highly unusual step of stripping RegisterFly of their accreditation to handle domain registrations, and ultimately GoDaddy wound up taking over their portfolio of 850,000 domains. (See the ICANN announcement and the GoDaddy press release from the decision at the end of May.)

As I’d previously urged in the SSL article, always check around, regardless of what your previous experiences might have been with a given company, and regardless of what you might have heard about a company from other people: in my experience, there are some very shoddy operations out there, and well-meaning webmasters just trying to set up their sites for simple secure transactions can easily find themselves on the wrong end of a customer service battle they’re destined to lose. As of this writing, despite the public dressing down by ICANN over unacceptable domain registration services — and a big front-page notice informing customers of this fact — RegisterFly is still happily in business selling other services — including digital certificates. Caveat emptor.

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