In recent years, SSL certificates have become more of a necessity than a choice.
Many people believe that website security is only important where personal information, and credit card transactions are involved. This could not be further from the truth. Your website needs security regardless of whether it is an e-commerce site, or blog. SSL is the industry standard in website protection and millions of website owners use it to protect their customer’s details and online transactions.
To secure your website, you need to buy trusted SSL Certificate (I recommend the Cheap SSL Shop). If you have multiple domains, you can use Multi-Domain Certificate to secure each individual domains rather than purchasing single domain SSL certificate for each domain. The Multi-Domain Certificate secures your main domain plus several Subject Alternative Name (SAN) domain names hosted on single or multiple servers. Before we get into the finer details of why your website needs SSL security, let us look at what SSL is.
What is SSL Certificate?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a cryptographic protocol provides private, and secure communication over the internet. The term is also used to refer to Transport Layer Security (TLS) a successor of the Security Sockets Layer. These protocols are the industry standard security technology used to create an encrypted link between the web server and a browser. Typically, SSL provides client and server authentication, data encryption and integrity.
To create a secure channel between website and client’s web browser, a website owner required to install SSL certificate issued by Trusted Certificate Authority on their server. To install SSL certificate, website owner required to follow below steps.
1. Generate CSR (Certificate Signing Request) key: To generate CSR key some basic information is required like Email, Host, City, States, Country, Company Name, and Company Division. (Note: required filed may vary on the different server).
2. Once website owner generates the key, they need to send their CSR key to the Certificate Authority.
3. Once the Certificate Authority verifies your CSR key, they will send some bunch of files that required to install on your server.
To check, whether SSL certificate is properly open your website start with HTTPS — https://www.example.com. The browser enables padlock icon and display “Secure” in padlock bar.
Types of SSL Certificates
SSL certificate can be differentiated based on Validation process like Domain Validation, Organization Validation & Extended Validation. All the validation process verified by Certificate Authority. Domain Validation certificate only validates website on domain level and these certificate issued within few minutes. Second, comes Organization Validation certificate, where certificate authority verifies domain and business entity details. Third comes Extended Validation Certificate, that validates domain and existence of the business entity. An Extended Validation Certificate also considers as highly secured validation process because to get this certificate business required to verify their authenticity. After the verification, it enables browser green padlock bar and displays company name in just after green padlock icon.
Security Benefits of SSL Certificates
In a nutshell, SSL certificates secure your website and improve your brand credibility and customer trust. In addition to these, there are other secondary benefits of installing an SSL certificate on your website. All these benefits are the reasons why your website needs an SSL certificate. They include the following:
1. Encrypted communications
This is the primary purpose of an SSL certificate. Encryption is the process of encoding information so that it can only be read and understood by the authorized parties. Information in transit from one computer to another is usually vulnerable to interception. The more the “movement”, the higher the chances of interception by a third unauthorized party.
The process of sending encrypted information through a HTTPS connection is complex. In simple terms, an SSL certificate inserts random characters into information making it incomprehensible to anyone without the right encryption key. This information is transferred to its destination in its encrypted form.
2. Provides Authentication
To prevent interception of sensitive information like credit card information by imposters, an SSL certificate is necessary. It is very easy for a hacker or an identity thief to trick your website users into sending sensitive information to the wrong servers by creating a user interface that resembles your website.
To provide authentication, a certificate authority issues a server certificate along with the SSL certificate. The server certificate mediates between the browsers and the SSL servers. Visitors to your site can, therefore, be able to validate the trustworthiness of your site and ascertain that they are not sharing their information with an imitation.
3. Necessary for Accepting Payments
An SSL certificate with at least 128-bit or higher encryption is mandatory for an e-commerce site to meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. This means that if you intend to take any credit card payments on your website, you must have an SSL certificate. To meet PCI standards, your SSL certificate must be from a trusted source, have proper encryption and provide a private and secure connection to your customers.
4. Protects Against Phishing
Often disguised as advertisements, phishing emails contain links that lead unsuspecting customers to fake sites with the intention of gathering their credit card and personal information for malicious use. Given the rigorous authorization process necessary to obtain a trusted SSL certificate, phishers have a hard time obtaining authentic SSL certificates for their fake sites. This makes it easy for customers to flag secure sites and navigate away from them without sharing their information.
5. Improve Your Website’s SEO
A couple of years ago, Google and other search engines began using HTTPS, the secure version of HTTP, as a ranking signal. This made SSL an essential part of SEO. In addition to giving higher rankings to sites with SSL certificates, Google Chrome now marks sites that do not have SSL certificates as non-secure to warn off users.
To gain a competitive edge over your competitors, you need to obtain a highly secure SSL certificate.
6. Boosts Brand Power
Certificate authorities offer security seals along with the SSL certificate that indicates that well-trusted encryption is in use. This can go a long way to improve your brand’s credibility leading to long-term relationships with your clients.
7. Improves Trust
All the elements of an SSL certificate work together to build a visitors trust in your website. With cases of cyber-crime on the rise, website visitors need to know that their personal information is secure. An SSL certificate provides this security and gives them ways of verifying it.
8. Cost Effective
SSL certificates are also cost-effective. A single website can use Comodo SSL certificate which is cost-effective and beneficial for small to large scale website. If a business is managing multiple websites they can use Multi-Domain SSL certificate to secure multiple websites with the single certificate. This single highly secure certificate, you can secure up to 100 unique domains saving you the cost of purchasing many individual certificates for each domain.
In recent years, SSL certificates have become more of a necessity than a choice. Your website cannot rate competitively on search engines and it is very difficult to conduct credit card transactions on it without an SSL certificate. To protect your website from security breaches and grow it to greater heights, you need to obtain a trusted SSL certificate from a reliable certification authority.
There are numerous types of SSL certificates each offering different features and benefits. Your choice should be influenced by your website needs.