The Internet has become a significant part of our lives as people search for information, and online shopping is not a new thing anymore. It creates business opportunities, and organizations are now more active with their marketing strategy and more concentrated on websites that become the ideal way to communicate with their potential customers. Websites are collecting customer’s valuable information, including demographics as well as payment info.
Businesses reached a vulnerable stage with their security and safety concerns. According to a report, one of the third businesses suffers from cybersecurity issues and faces challenges with safety and security as businesses lost 1.50 million on average due to cyberattacks. In general, e-commerce websites store their user’s financial information that has to be secured at any cost. An SSL certificate can prevent all these threads and minimize the risks of cyberattacks.
We will discuss the SSL certificate and its importance for any website owner. Let’s begin with the basics!
Table of Contents
What is an SSL certificate?
Usually, when you visit any web page, you might notice a padlock sign initially on the URL address, which indicates the website is secure with an SSL certificate and safe to visit. Yes, that’s due to the SSL certificate. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology is designed to secure online interactions by encrypting the connection between the website user and website hosting point, protecting the data sent between them. This certificate provides the communication exchange between the web server and the visitor’s browser with encryption.
SSL certificate allows website owners to store customer data privately and safely. It prevents unwanted third-party access to data as the latest encryption techniques are used. This digital certificate is issued by a trusted and reputed Certificate Authority (CA) to authenticate the website.
Types of SSL Certificate
There are various types of SSL certificates based on multiple factors such as validation type, and the number of domains or subdomains.
SSL certificates can be distinguished based on the following two types:
- The validation type,
- The number of domains and subdomains secured
Based on the Type of Validation
1. Extended Validation (EV):
Extended Validation SSL certificates (EV SSL) require the most comprehensive background checks with standard validity checks on the domain owner and additional audits to confirm from a Certificate authority (CA). Extended validation is more expensive than any other validation type, but advanced check website ownership, legal location of the business and physical existence, etc. EV SSL certificates provide advanced security features in modern web browsers.
Website owners need to submit business documents as proof of business for verification, and this process may take several days to verify. The Comodo SSL certificates, RapidSSL, GeoTrust SSL are ideal and come within your budget.
2. Organisation Validation (OV SSL):
Organization Validation (OV) certificates demand strict validity and background checks on a lower scale. The Certificate authority validates the website owner of the domain and whether the business has legal operations and verified physical location.
It is a reliable, cost-effective SSL certificate issued within a few days of waiting.
3. Domain Validation (DV):
The domain validation SSL certificates provide a basic Level of domain encryption which can be delivered within a short period of waiting time.
The Certificate authority validates the right of the business to own the website they wish to secure, and verification is conducted when DNS is added to certificate authority with automation.
Based on the Number of Domains
1. Single Domain SSL Certificate:
As its title clears its suitability with only one domain. Generally, it protects a single domain only usually used by smaller businesses or bloggers.
For example: if you install a single-domain SSL certificate to secure the domain name “facebook.com,” it won’t be able to protect Facebook.co.in or facebook5.com.
2. Wildcard SSL:
It can be used for the single domain name and its subdomains. Wildcard SSL is suitable for companies that are operating multiple businesses on subdomains. To secure the sub-domains, the asterisk (*) should be added before the primary domain.
If you are searching for a premium yet cheap wildcard SSL cert for your online business, we suggest going for the RapidSSL wildcard certificate.
3. Multi-Domain SSL:
If you wish to operate your business on multiple domains, this SSL certificate can become your web protector. It allows you to secure multiple domains using the same SSL certificate.
4. Unified Communications Certificate (UCC):
It is a multi-domain SSL certificate initially designed to protect live communication servers and Microsoft exchange. UCC Certificates are organizationally validated and provide a padlock sign on a browser address bar.
It is highly recommended to know about different SSL certificate types to select the right type of SSL certificate for your website. If you are a blogger or have a small business, a domain validation SSL certificate is best to secure you. But if you own an e-commerce or enterprise, then go with an EV or OV SSL certificate to protect your data.
Advantages of Installing SSL Certificate
SSL certificates have various security features to protect user’s confidential information from unwanted cyber-attacks.
It ensures a secure and trustworthy payment environment, especially for E-commerce websites where users don’t hesitate to provide their banking information on the website. SSL certificates build a trusted image of a website by providing security.
1. Secure Payment Environment
Today, online users understand the gravity of entering sensitive information such as banking details or personal information on any online portal. A business owner can ensure their website visitors by installing the right active SSL certificate on their website, protecting users’ data from cyber threats.
Each website that provides online transaction facilities is required to have some payment security. These websites must install an SSL certificate with minimum 128-bit encryption levels. Various websites are equipped with an updated SSL certificate which provides 256-bit encryption levels such as banks portals, UPI, and popular payment transfer portals.
2. Confidential User Experience
The various business websites collect the user’s personal information in login, personal details, contact details, demographics, and other sensitive information. This stored information is always at the risk of being shared with a third party. SSL certificates ensure users prevent such incidents, and the Certificate authority doesn’t validate such websites involved with data breaches.
However, users are warned with many pop-ups and notifications when they visit any unsecured website but still, users are aware of web security. SSL certificate helps businesses to enhance secure and confidential user experience on their websites.
3. A Secured Communication
One of the best and important advantages of installing an SSL certificate is that it encrypts the interaction with the visitor’s browser.
It ensures secure and confidential communication, and any third party can not access it anyhow. SSL certificates provide unbreakable encryption to have secure communications on websites.
4. Improve Search Engine Rankings
Search engines are dedicated to providing a safe and secure internet to all users. Back in 2014, search engine giant Google announced HTTPS to be a lightweight parameter for keyword rankings.
The padlock sign acts as a trust factor that entices additional visitors to the website. These additional web traffic also lead to an enhancement in search engine rankings.
5. Information Security
SSL certificate is more focused on businesses because it demands an HTTPS web address that secures HTTP with advanced security. HTTPS websites have their web traffic encrypted by an SSL certificate.
A website without SSL certificates is tagged as ‘not secure.’ This indicates that the site may not be trustworthy to visit or not suitable for online transactions.
An SSL Certificate Keen on Securing Information Such As:
- Login credentials username & passwords.
- Banking transactions or bank account details.
- Personal information such as full name, address, date of birth, or contact number and email.
- Legal documents and contracts.
- Medical condition reports & Proprietary information.
- Additional information like devices, networks, and access to personal data.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still, have any doubts? Here I’m sharing a few FAQs which clear all your doubts related to SSL certificate.
Can an SSL Certificate Work on Different Servers?
Usually, it is possible to install an SSL certificate on multiple domains on the same servers. But many Certificate Vendors offer to use an SSL certificate to use on multiple servers with Multi-Domain SSL certificates which we have already discussed.
As it clears with its name, multi-domain SSL certificates can work with multiple domains, and the number depends on Certificate Authority. A Multi-Domain SSL Certificate is different from a Single Domain SSL Certificate designed to secure a single domain. Unified Communications Certificates (UCCs) and Wildcard SSL Certificates also allowed for multi-domains and unlimited subdomains on multiple servers.
How to Know If a Website has an SSL Certificate?
One of the easiest ways to find out about SSL certificates is by looking at the web page’s address bar. If a sign of Padlock appears, then the website is secured with an SSL certificate. Anyone can see the security details by clicking on the padlock emblem. The most trustworthy sites will have green padlocks or address bars.
If the URL in the address bar starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP, that means the site is secured using an SSL certificate. Browsers also show warning signals when a connection is not secure with a red padlock or a padlock which is not closed, a line going through the website’s address, or a warning triangle on top of the padlock emblem.
How to Know your Online Session is Safe?
It’s highly advisable to submit your personal information and payment details to only websites with EV and OV SSL certificates. Domain validation is not suitable for an e-commerce website. Anyone can tell if the website is secured with EV or OV certificates.
The organization’s name will be visible in the address bar itself or by clicking on the padlock emblem. For a DV SSL, only the padlock icon is visible.
To avoid unwanted cyber-attacks and online fraudulent following instructions are helpful to avoid such activities.
- It is better to examine the domain name and ensure it is spelled correctly. Sometimes fake URLs are different with just one character, such as faceb00k.com. If you have any doubt, type the domain name directly into your browser.
- Never enter login details, passwords, banking information, or any other personal information on the site unless you are sure of its authenticity.
- You must be informed of the offering of a particular website and its services & products. So you have an idea whether to register an account on it or not.
- Always look for the right SSL certificate from the address bar. Sometimes e-commerce websites install DV SSL certificates, which shows Padlock in the address bar. Check for security details organization name in SSL certificate.
Does an SSL Certificate Have an Expiry Date?
SSL certificates come with expiry dates. It doesn’t last forever. The certificate authority (CA) provides SSL certificates not more than 27 months. You can install an SSL certificate for a maximum of 2 years plus three months of renewable Period if you renew with time remaining on your previous SSL certificate.
When an SSL certificate expires, it makes the website in red padlock sign. Whenever any user’s browser reaches a website, it checks the SSL certificate’s validity. If the SSL certificate has expired, users will receive a screen message “This site is not secure. Potential risk ahead”.
There is an instance of data breaches and cyberattacks that only put millions of user’s data at risk and are very harmful to the reputation of a website or business. Thus, businesses need to be equipped enough to fight against such cybersecurity issues. Having the right SSL certificate is the best way to secure your user’s confidential data to prevent such risks.
An SSL certificate is beneficial for protecting user’s data and helps businesses grow and boost SEO ranking. Online traffic is attracted towards a secure connection and is always concerned regarding safe payment transactions. Various search engine giants like Google are taking down unsecured websites due to improper SSL certificates.
There are various types of SSL certificates according to your business requirements. You may use a single SSL certificate on multiple domains as well as servers also. These SSL certificates are widely available from free to enterprise level. You can choose the right and suitable SSL certificate according to security level. Finally, it doesn’t matter what size of the website you are handling, a perfect SSL certificate must secure data and a badge of honor & trust.