What is an SSL certificate?
When a website’s identity is verified through the use of an SSL certificate, an encrypted connection can be established between the user and the website itself. HTTPS is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and SSL is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
In order to protect customers’ personal information and secure online transactions, businesses and organizations must install SSL certificates on their websites.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypts data transfers over the internet and prevents thieves from accessing or altering the information. An SSL-protected website has a padlock icon next to its URL in the browser’s address bar.
A number of SSL protocols have come and gone since its introduction in the late 1990s, all of which have encountered security issues. TLS (Transport Layer Security) was the redesigned and renamed version that followed, and it is still in use today. The SSL initials, on the other hand, have stayed, and the new protocol is still commonly referred to by its old moniker.
How do SSL certificates work?
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypts all data exchanged between users and websites, or between two computers. When data is being delivered over a link, it is scrambled using encryption methods to keep intruders out. Names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other financial details are among the data that could be considered sensitive.
This is how it all happens:
- If an SSL-secured website (i.e., web server) tries to establish an encrypted connection with the user’s browser or server, the attempt fails.
- Browsers and servers both send queries to the web server asking for an identification.
- An SSL certificate is returned to the browser or server as a response from the web server.
- The SSL certificate is checked to see if it is trusted by the browser or server. Signals the webserver if it does.
- To begin an SSL encrypted session, the web server returns a digitally signed acknowledgment from the server.
- It’s possible for a web browser or server and a web server to exchange encrypted data.
TLS / SSL certificates – what are they?
An SSL certificate encrypts communications between a website, host or server, and the end users who access it. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” (or between two computers in a client-server relationship). Encryption is enabled by a certificate that certifies the identity of the domain name (such as Sectigo.com) that operates the site and ensures that all information transmitted is secure.
Who needs an SSL certificate, and why does it matter?
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about issues like identity theft and browser warnings. If you don’t choose the right TLS / SSL certificate for your website, you risk losing your customers’ trust and seeing a decline in the number of transactions.
Why should I use an SSL certificate?
You should have an SSL certificate if you want to receive payments over the Internet, or if you want your customers to enter sensitive information on your website. With out SSL, unauthorized parties may be able to access your personal information.
Besides encrypting information, an SSL certificate has another crucial purpose, namely to demonstrate visitors to your website that you exist and that the website belongs to your firm. Validation of your company’s ability to utilize the domain and registration in the commercial register is required before an SSL certificate can be provided. Finally, your company’s agreement to send the certificate to the applicant is verified.
As a result, an SSL certificate gives your app’s users the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their information is safe from unauthorized access and that your organization actually exists.
Due to a variety of features, the user can tell if a page is SSL-encrypted. This means the URL begins with https instead of http in the address line, and a yellow lock can be seen at the bottom right or just above the address line (depending on the browser version). Green browser address lines turn green with EV SSL certificates, which indicates the highest level of security.
What are the different types of SSL certificates?
SSL certificates come in a variety of flavors, each with a different amount of validation. The following are the primary six types:
Extended Validation certificates (EV SSL)
There are three levels of SSL certificates, with this one being the highest and costing the most. It is most commonly used on high-profile websites that collect data and accept online payments.. Installing this SSL certificate makes the browser address bar show the padlock, HTTPS, business name, and country. Distinguishing legitimate sites from malicious ones is much easier with an owner’s name in the address bar. A standard identity verification procedure must be completed by the domain owner in order to verify that they have the legal right to the exclusive use of the domain name.
Organization Validated certificates (OV SSL)
Obtaining an EV SSL certificate entails a lengthy verification process, making this version of the certificate comparable to the EV SSL certificate in terms of security. Using this type of certificate, the address bar of a website will display the name of the website’s owner. To protect the user’s private information, OV SSL certificates are the second most expensive (after EV SSL certificates) and their major function is to encrypt the data during transactions. An OV SSL certificate must be installed on commercial or public-facing websites in order to safeguard the confidentiality of any consumer information shared.
Domain Validated certificates (DV SSL)
Domain Validation SSL certificates have a minimum validation process, and as a result, they provide less security and confidence. They are more commonly used for blogs or informational websites that do not gather any personal information or accept online payments. This sort of SSL certificate is one of the cheapest and fastest to acquire. Website owners are simply required to respond to an email or phone call in order to complete the verification procedure. Only HTTPS and a padlock are seen in the browser address bar, with no business name being displayed.
Wildcard SSL certificates
A single certificate may safeguard an entire domain as well as any number of subdomains inside it, thanks to wildcard SSL certificates. Purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate saves you money over purchasing separate SSL certificates for each of your subdomains. The common name of a wildcard SSL certificate includes an asterisk *, which indicates any valid subdomains that share the base domain. You can secure payments.yourdomain.com with a single Wildcard certificate for *website, for example: payments.yourdomain.co
Multi-Domain SSL Certificate (MDC)
It is possible to use a Multi-Domain certificate to secure many domains and subdomains. Except for local/internal TLDs, this covers the combination of fully distinct domains and subdomains.
Subdomains are not supported by default in multi-domain certificates. Both www.example.com and example.com should be supplied when acquiring a Multi-Domain certificate if you need to secure them both.
Unified Communications Certificate (UCC)
Multi-Domain SSL certificates are also known as Unified Communications Certificates (UCCs). Microsoft Exchange and Live Communications servers were the original targets of UCCs. These certificates can now be used by any website owner to secure numerous domain names on a single certificate. A padlock appears on a browser when a UCC Certificate has been authenticated by an entity. As EV SSL certificates, UCCs can be used to reassure website visitors with the green address bar.