What is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)?

Browsing the internet can be a safe and secure experience, but it isn’t without its challenges. As you navigate your favorite sites on the web, there’s something we should all consider: security! If you see https:// instead of http:// means extra protection for both yourself as well as other visitors; this additional “s” stands for “secure.” It’s encrypted, so any data entered on it stays safe for now! Then it became important for you to understand what is SSL certificate is.

Antivirus software and firewalls—which would already make great starts towards keeping ourselves protected from malicious hackers-but they are not enough as hackers never give up; they’re always trying new methods in their quest to break through our firewalls or steal confidential information from those who don’t protect themselves adequately online. That’s where SSL Certificates help in taking extra precautions.


What is SSL Certificate?- Definition

SSL certificates are certificates that authorize your website’s identity and trustworthiness and enable an encrypted connection. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which creates the link between you (the webserver) and all visitors to your site in order to protect their information during transactions made online. When adding these security features onto websites, businesses need only worry about securing online transactions with customers’ privacy still intact- something any company would want!

Sensitive data can be easily read by third parties when there is an unencrypted connection, but only with SSL certificates does your browser have proof of who you are so they know where to send the information. Your private conversations & transactions over the internet will remain confidential and not fall into anyone else’s hands!

As people become more aware of web security, they look for these certificates to determine whether a website is safe to visit. The SSL Certificates assure them that the website owner is taking precautions to keep the site secure.


Types of SSL Certificates?

There are various types of SSL certificates, each with a different level of validation.

The six main types are:

  1. Extended Validation certificates (EV SSL)
  2. Organization Validated certificates (OV SSL)
  3. Domain Validated certificates (DV SSL)
  4. Wildcard SSL certificates
  5. Multi-Domain SSL certificates (MDC)
  6. Unified Communications Certificates (UCC)

1. Extended Validation certificates (EV SSL)

This certificate displays the padlock, HTTPS, business name, and business country in the address bar to reduce the possibility of being misidentified as a spam website. Extended Validation (SV) SSL certificates are the most expensive to obtain, but they are useful in displaying the legitimacy of your domain from the address bar. For setting up an EV SSL, you must first show that your company has permission to own the domain. This assures users that you are legally collecting the data required to carry out certain actions, such as a credit card number for an online transaction.

Any business can obtain an EV SSL certificate, and it should be a top priority, especially for those who require identity assurance such as those having online transactions and payment gateway.

2. Organization Validated certificates (OV SSL)

This certificate verifies the legitimacy of your organization and domain validation. It gives encryption that is medium only. It would determine who owns the domain and whether the organization is legally operating.

Users would see a small green padlock with the company’s name following it in the browser. If you don’t have the financial resources for an EV SSL but still want to provide a moderate level of encryption, use this type of certificate.

3. Domain Validated certificates (DV SSL)

The domain validation (DV) SSL certificate is the simplest to obtain. To get an EV or OV certificate, you have to go through several steps and a complicated vetting process that can take up to many days to complete the task. .You only need to prove that you own the domain to get a DV certificate.

Unfortunately, because DV SSL certificates don’t require as much verification, bad actors—such as phishers—can obtain them and use them to make their fraudulent sites appear legitimate. So, if you are handling sensitive customer information on your website then the best way to ensure that this stays secure is by going through a process of vetting and obtaining a better SSL certificate.

4. Wildcard SSL certificates

A wildcard SSL certificate may be appropriate for your business if you want to use a single domain but have the flexibility to add subdomains. These validations apply to your primary domain as well as an unlimited number of subdomains. Furthermore, reissuing a new certificate for each new subdomain is a simple process.

If you are not certain which type of certificate is right for your company, then go with the highest level that will still keep things affordable and reasonable for your firm.

5. Multi-Domain SSL certificates (MDC)

A multi-domain validation certificate validates multiple domains owned by the same person using a single certificate. This validation can save you time and money, but there are some limitations. Like, every time you add a new domain, it is important to request renewed SSL certificates so that your site is properly validated.

6. Unified Communications Certificate (UCC)

Multi-Domain SSL certificates are also known as Unified Communications Certificates (UCC). Initially, UCCs were intended to secure Microsoft Exchange and Live Communications servers. Nowadays, any website owner can use these certificates to secure multiple domain names with a single certificate. UCC Certificates are organizationally validated and appear in a browser as a padlock. UCCs can be used as EV SSL certificates to provide the highest level of assurance to website visitors via the green address bar.

Understanding the various types of SSL certificates is critical to understanding which one will work best for your website.


How does SSL work ?

SSL is a type of encryption that ensures your data remains safe. SSL uses algorithms to scramble the information sent over an internet connection, preventing anyone from reading it as it travels between two computers or websites users are attempting to communicate with one another securely without having any concern about their personal details getting read by someone else who might be eavesdropping on this conversation.

The process is known as an “SSL handshake” in some circles. While it may appear to be a lengthy procedure, it is completed in milliseconds.

Let’s see the process in brief: 

  1. The browser / server attempts to connect to an SSL-secured website (i.e., a web server).
  2. The browser / server asks the web server to identify itself.
  3. Then, the web server sends a copy of its SSL certificate. This tells any browser  that connects to it about interception.
  4. The browser or server determines whether or not it trusts the SSL certificate. If it does, it notifies the web server.
  5. After the web server has verified that you’re who (and what) say in your browser, it responds with a digitally signed acknowledgment. This allows for an SSL encrypted session between client and site-meaning all data is safe!
  6. The browser or server and the web server exchange encrypted data.

Why do we need SSL Certification on our website?

Websites that want to keep their users’ data safe should use SSL certificates. They’re important for verifying ownership, preventing attackers from changing or faking the site in order to steal personal information like credit card numbers and health benefits; they also help convey trust so people feel comfortable sharing sensitive materials on your website with you. Websites asking them to sign in using an account registered elsewhere need these security measures because there’s no way of knowing if someone else has used it before without seeing what was typed into Fields marked “secure.”

More relevant to businesses is the fact that an SSL certificate is required for all of your websites. HTTPS or “secure HTTP” means not just one, but every single site on the internet must have encryption in place so you can be sure they’re safe and secure! Most browsers will flag any un-encrypted HTTP address with this message: “Not Secure.” This sends a clear signal about how trustworthy these sites may actually be – incentivizing those who haven’t yet migrated over into making changes now.

Thus, an SSL certificate aids in the security of information such as:

  1. Login information of the users
  2. Transactions details with credit cards or bank accounts
  3. Personal Identifying Information: Name,  Birthdate, Phone Number,  Home Address , Email and others
  4. Exclusive & Confidential Information

How can I understand whether a website has an SSL Certificate?

When you visit a website that uses SSL, you will notice a few distinct differences in the browser.

1. A padlock icon will appear in the URL bar :

Depending on your browser, the padlock will appear on the left or right side of the URL bar. You can read more about the website and the company that provided the certificate by clicking on the padlock.

2. The URL begins with “https://” rather than “http://.”

The SSL-encrypted website URL will always have the “s” symbol for “secure.” The “s” denotes that your website is encrypted, so any data entered on it stays safe for now! 

3. It should be having a valid certificate:

Even if a website has https:// and a padlock, the certificate could be expired, rendering your connection insecure. In most cases, a site that displays as https is secure; however, if you come across a site that requests a lot of information, it may be worth double-checking to ensure the certificate is valid. 

In Chrome, navigate to View > Developer > Developer Tools to determine whether the certificate is valid.

4. Browsers will display warning signs:

When a connection is not secure, browsers display warning signs such as a red padlock, an open padlock, a line through the website’s address, or a warning triangle on top of the padlock emblem.


How to get an SSL Certificate?

Obtaining an SSL certificate is simple, but choosing the right certificate and provider is critical. Check with your web host to see if an SSL certificate is included in your current hosting plan. If your host does provide a certificate, go over the details to see if it provides the level of validation you require for your website. If you require a higher level of validation, the host may provide other options for a fee. You can also go above and beyond your web hosting plan by selecting an outside certificate authority to validate your credentials against the level of validation you require.

Your SSL certificate will be in place when you see a padlock icon next to your domain name. However, just because this means that one is installed correctly doesn’t mean they have all the protection needed for visitors or website owners themselves – so it’s important to test them with an SSL services platform that analyses the configuration of any SSL web server accessible via the public Internet. 


What happens if my SSL Certificate expires?

When your website’s SSL certificate expires, it displays messages such as “Your connection is not private” and “This connection is Untrusted.”

The SSL certificate is the foundation of website security, and it should be renewed on a regular basis to maintain its functionality. As a website owner, you can win and keep customer trust, secure checkout, login information, and emails by renewing your website on a regular basis.

If SSL certificates expire without proper renewal – which happens more often than most people think!- then not only will customers lose confidence in using our site but also others around them might take notice as well since 90%+ don’t visit websites with expired SSLs on them.

Most business owners purchase an SSL certificate for a single year, and they must renew the SSL certificate at the end of the year. Keeping the proverb “prevention is better than cure” in mind, the business owner or the IT department in the organization should prevent certificate expiration. 

Keep an eye on your email in case an SSL certificate provider sends you a reminder email before your certificate expires. If the certificate is about to expire, you should contact the IT department to have it renewed.


Conclusion

If you have a website for your company or business, then it’s vital that the SSL certificate on this site is up-to-date. If visitors are seeing a red warning in their browser when trying to view any page of your website, they might not feel comfortable shopping with you knowing there’s no protection against hacking attacks and identity theft! You should also consider how Google ranks websites by security risk – which will decrease traffic from potential customers who think you are asking too much personal information without being safe enough for the visitors to be browsing there (and less ranking means lost money).


We at Pixel Street provide SSL Certificate services from our partnered Hosting provider to all our website clients and ensure that it is getting renewed on time- before time, come what may, because we know how important it is for your website and thereby for your business.

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