What is an SSL Certificate? Benefits of Installing SSL Certificates on Websites

We are going to learn all about SSL security, a well known protection method to secure sensitive information sent over the internet. On most of the websites, you could see a green lock symbol in the address bar before the URL. Also, the URL starts with https That indicates that the website your are visiting is secured and protects the data whatever you use to process through that website by encrypting it using SSL.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Millions of websites are using an SSL certificate to protect their customers private data while processing online transactions. Even if the website do not involve in online transactions and even not collecting any sensitive data, still the SSL is recommended for websites due to its vide range of advantages.

Table of Content

  1. What is SSL?
  2. Why SSL certificate is important for websites?
  3. Benefits of SSL certificates
  4. How to get an SSL certificate?
  5. Types of SSL certificates

What is SSL?

SSL stands for (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is an industry standard security technology. It enables a secure connection by establishing encrypted links between a browser and a web server. It protects your private data like username, password, credit card numbers everything which are to be kept private by encryption method.

Why SSL Certificate is Important for Websites?

You know well that whenever you visit a web page, the browser sends request to the web server, the server process the request and respond back to the browser and as a result, the browser displays the page.

Likewise, assume that you are paying money through online transaction using credit card. When you submit the form with sensitive data like credit card number, password, the data are sent to the payment server for processing the payment and in return it sends the response information to the web server whether the payment is success or failure. Finally, you got the message about your transaction on your browser. During this transaction, your private data are sent through different computers where anybody can see your data. Hence, it is necessary to encrypt the sensitive data using an SSL certificate

Benefits of SSL Certificates

The following are the major reasons why you need to get an SSL certificate for your website:

  • Trust: It increases your customers trust on you
  • SEO: Search engines give priority for websites having https protocol (Secure connection). It plays a major role in website SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
  • eCommerce: SSL certificate is a mandatory requirement to become a PCI compliant (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) for operating eCommerce websites.
  • Security: SSL certificate encrypts the sensitive data such as username, password, and credit card number and protect them from the view other computers in between the client and server

How to Get an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificates are to be issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA), an entity who issues digital certificates. Certificate Authority (CA) operates the entire security system by the collective form infrastructure, named trusted PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). The following are the commonly known trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs):

  • Comodo
  • Let’s Encrypt
  • DigiCert
  • GlobalSign
  • Symantec
  • GeoTrust

To enable a secure connection for a website, an SSL certificate should be installed on the web server. Some hosting providers have an option in the control panel to enable SSL certificate installed for free. Also, some pre-hosted blog services like Blogger provides an option to enable / disable SSL secured connection for custom domains nowadays. Even if not, you can use Cloudflare free CDN and enable free SSL for your domain.

Types of SSL Certificates

Please note that free SSL certificates are the basic only that simply encrypts and protects the sensitive data. If you want to go beyond that, there are something special exists than the free SSL certificates. Let us list them below one by one:

  • Domain Validation (DV)
  • Wild Card
  • Extended Validation (EV)
  • Unified Communications (UC)
  • Subject Alternative Name
  • Organization Validation (OV)

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