What is an SSL certificate and why do I need it?

This article provides you with information on SSL Certificates.

SSL is the backbone of our secure Internet and it protects your sensitive information as it travels across the world’s computer networks. SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security, and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information.

SSL Encrypts Sensitive Information

The primary reason why SSL is used is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can access it. This is important because the information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate.

How do I check if my website is secure or not?

A website is secure when the browser address bar has a green padlock. Another way to check if a website is secure is to see if the website URL uses https rather than http. The “S” at the end of HTTPS stands for “Secure”. This means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

A green padlock plus the name of the company or organization, also in green, means the website has an Extended Validation (EV) certificate which assures you that the website is under the control of the company it claims to be.

What do SSL and HTTPS stand for and what makes them secure?

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a form of security for sites that handle sensitive information such as visitor’s personal information and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between a visitor’s web browser and the server of the company they’re interacting with.

HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a “code” between them, and then they scramble the messages using that “code” so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers.

How do I know if a site is not secure?

In the modern age, secure websites are preferred over non-secure sites. Both Chrome and Firefox browsers alert you when you are on a non-secure web page which may collect some form of personal information. Just because a site lacks an SSL Certificate doesn’t mean it is a bad site, but it should cause you to pause before inputting any personal information.

What are the benefits of a secure website?

  • A secure connection between the browser and the server of the website they are visiting.
  • Visitors trust when the website is secured. HTTPS site with green padlock and company or organization name increases the credibility and trust of a website and company.
  • Protects visitor information
  • Google ranks secured sites higher in search results compared to an unsecured site.

What are the different types of SSL certificates?

  • Standard – Domain Validation(DV) for blogs and personal websites
  • Organization Validation(OV) for business and non-profits
  • Extended Validation (EV) for eCommerce websites.

A DV SSL certificate is the easiest and least expensive to maintain, and is great for personal blogs and websites. An OV SSL certificate is the type that we recommend to all businesses and organizations, as it provides more protection and security than a DV SSL. An EV SSL certificate is a top-tier, special type of site certificate that requires a significantly more rigorous identity verification process than other types of certificates, which in turn, provides the highest level of assurance to your visitors.

Was this post helpful?