When it comes to the internet, security is a priority for both hosts and users, especially when making monetary transactions and giving sensitive information.
One way you can ensure online security of your website and visitors is to use an SSL Certificate. Short for Secure Sockets Layer, SSL certificates are digital certificates that create a secure link between the website and the browser it is opened on.
They are very small data files that carry information that encrypts sensitive information shares on websites. You can compare this to physical mailing. Just like the way you seal important mail in an envelope before sending it, SSL encrypts data.
This way, the information is safe. The cryptographic key attached to the information prevents hackers from stealing private information, such as credit card numbers and passwords.
SSL Certificates are not used across the board on all websites, especially ones that don’t require you to make purchases or sign in. For e-commerce businesses, on the other hand, SSL certificates are compulsory.
It allows shoppers to enter their debit or credit card numbers along with any other personal information without any hesitation. Without an SSL certificate, the information will be vulnerable to being stolen.
It protects information, such as:
SSL Certificates are granted by a Certificate Authority or CA. A CA is an entity that issues and validates SSL certificates and keeps a record on its usage and integration. You can request an SSL certificate from an intermediate CA.
You can also opt for the other route, which involves using a trusted browser that has an SSL certificate embedded in its root.
Either way, when you’ll be issued an SSL Certificate, the CA will generate two keys from your server. This will require information about your organization.
Out of the two server keys, one is public and a part of the public domain. The private key remains in the company’s server and helps in decrypting the information when received on the server.
If the encrypted information and public key do not match the private one, it cannot be unlocked. This way, sensitive information remains protected from other servers.
One SSL Server Certificate secures a single domain. For instance, a certificate protecting www.yourwebsite.com will not secure mail.yourwebsite.com.
If you want to secure multiple sub-domains for a common name, you can get a wildcard certificate or a Unified Communications Certificates. Under this, a single SSL certificate will secure several domains or sub-domains.
There are three main types of SSL Certificates. Each of them is designed to serve a different purpose and provide varying levels of security. This is why it’s important to understand the difference between them.
A Domain Verified SSL Certificate provides the most basic level of security. In essence, it only verifies who owns the website. The process of getting them is also not that difficult. The CA only has to send an email to the website’s registered email address. No other company information is required.
This is why this type of SSL Certificate is used by cybercriminals. It is easy to obtain and make the website appear safer than it really is.
Next, on the security level are Organizationally Validated SSL certificates. These are similar to DVs but require more in-depth information about the company, including the organization’s address and website domain name.
This particular certificate is suitable for public-facing websites that don’t carry out sensitive transactions.
This type of SSL Certificate is compulsory for all websites that handle sensitive information. The highest level of security ensures that all information remains encrypted and secure. This is why it is used on bank websites and e-commerce stores.
The process for getting an EV is aptly more detailed. The CA reviews the applicant’s in and out, including assessing their corporate documents to ensure the validity and legitimacy of the company.
As the number of people using the internet increases, so does the risk of cybercrime. It’s critical that you take whatever security measures you can to make sure your customers and visitors remain protected at all times while browsing your website.