An SSL Certificate: What It Is, How It Works, And Why You Need One.

The presence of an SSL certificate on a website indicates that it has been authenticated and that any information transferred between the site and its users is encrypted.
what is an ssl certificate
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Last Updated on: 12th June 2022, 01:11 pm

SSL certificates play an important role in online security. They are used to create an encrypted connection between a user’s computer and a web server, ensuring that private data cannot be accessed or stolen by anyone else on the network. SSL certificates can also be used to authenticate a website, proving that it is legitimate and not a phishing scam.

Read: Best SSL Certificate Providers

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that is used to establish a secure connection between a web server and a web browser. The certificate contains information about the identity of the website, as well as the web server’s public key. This information is used to encrypt the communication between the two parties.

SSL certificates are issued by certification authorities (CAs). In order for a CA to issue an SSL certificate, the website must first prove its identity to the CA. This is done by providing the CA with a copy of the website’s SSL certificate, as well as a signed request for the issuance of the certificate.

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How SSL certificates work

SSL certificates use a public and private key encryption system to secure communications between a website and a web browser. The public key is used to encrypt information, and the private key is used to decrypt it.

SSL certificates are issued by a certification authority (CA), and they contain information about the organization that owns the website, as well as the website’s domain name. When a web browser connects to a website, the SSL certificate allows for the establishment of a secure, encrypted connection.

SSL certificates are used to establish a secure connection between a web server and a web browser. When you visit a website that uses SSL, your browser will check to see if the SSL certificate is valid. If it is, the browser will then encrypt all of the information that you send to the website. This makes it impossible for anyone to intercept and read your data.

The process works like this:

SSL certificate

A browser or server may attempt to connect to a website that is secured with SSL. In order to do so, the browser or server requests that the web server identify itself. The web server sends the browser or server a copy of its SSL certificate in the response. The browser or server checks to see whether it trusts the SSL certificate. If it does, it signals this to the webserver. The web server then returns a digitally signed acknowledgment to start an SSL encrypted session. Encrypted data is shared between the browser or server and the webserver.

Why do you need one?

SSL certificates are essential for any website that wants to maintain a secure connection with its visitors. They encrypt communication between a website and its visitors, ensuring that sensitive data cannot be intercepted and read by third parties.

SSL certificates also provide a level of assurance to visitors that a website is legitimate and can be trusted. Websites that do not have SSL certificates are often flagged as untrustworthy by browsers, and visitors may be warned before they even attempt to visit the site.

SSL certificates are important because they protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, login credentials, and personal information from being intercepted by hackers. When a website is secured with an SSL certificate, its URL will start with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://, and a padlock icon will be displayed in the browser bar.

An SSL certificate helps to secure information such as:

  • Login credentials
  • Credit card transactions or bank account information
  • Personally identifiable information — such as full name, address, date of birth, or telephone number
  • Legal documents and contracts
  • Medical records
  • Proprietary information

How can one obtain an SSL certificate?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry-standard protocol and is used by millions of websites for the protection of their online transactions with their customers.

To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL Certificate. When you request an SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA) you will be asked to provide your domain name, company name and location, contact details, and a password.

You can obtain an SSL certificate directly from a Certificate Authority (CA). Millions of SSL certificates are issued by CAs each year. They are critical for enabling transparent, trusted interactions on the internet.

The cost of an SSL certificate may range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on the desired level of security. After deciding on the type of certificate needed, you can look for Certificate Issuers that offer SSLs at the required level.

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What happens when your SSL certificate expires?

If an SSL certificate expires, it means that the website is no longer secure and any information that is transmitted on that site is at risk of being intercepted by third parties. When a user tries to access a website with an expired SSL certificate, they will see a warning message telling them that the site is not secure.

If you are the owner of a website with an expired SSL certificate, you will need to renew it as soon as possible to protect your users’ information. Depending on your hosting provider, you may be able to renew your SSL certificate automatically.

The main reason SSL certificates expire is that, like any other authentication method, the info used to validate their needs to be checked regularly to make sure it’s still accurate. Companies and websites are bought and sold all the time, which means the information used for SSL certificates also changes frequently. The expiration period is designed to make sure that the information used to authenticate servers and organizations is as up-to-date as possible.

How can one tell if a site has an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a global standard security protocol used by millions of websites to protect online communications.

You can tell if a site has an SSL certificate by looking for the HTTPS:// in the URL. If you see that, it means the site is using SSL. You can also look for a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar. This is another indication that the site is using SSL.

Types of SSL certificate

There are three types of SSL certificates- DV, OV, and EV which are distinguished by the level of validation they offer.

DV or Domain Validated certificates are the most basic type of SSL certificate and can be issued within minutes. OV or Organization Validated certificates take a bit longer to issue as they require the Certificate Authority to verify the organization’s identity. EV or Extended Validation certificates offer the highest level of validation and are usually used by large organizations.

1. DV or Domain Validated certificates

Domain Validated or DV certificates are the most common type of SSL certificate. They’re also the easiest to get because all you need to do to prove ownership of the domain is respond to an automated email or follow a link in a DNS record.

DV certificates provide encryption and authentication, but because they’re the easiest to get, they’re also not seen as being as trustworthy as other types of SSL certificates. That’s why they’re usually only used on websites where security isn’t as important, such as personal blogs or small businesses. If you’re looking for an SSL certificate for your website, then this is the best option for you.

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2. OV or Organization Validated certificates

An Organization Validated (OV) certificate is a type of SSL certificate that requires the applicant to provide proof of their identity and organization before the certificate can be issued. The certificate authority (CA) will verify that the organization exists and is legitimate before issuing the certificate.

Organization Validated certificates are more expensive than Domain Validated (DV) certificates, but they offer more assurance to website visitors that the site is trustworthy. OV certificates are typically used by e-commerce sites, banks, and other businesses that handle sensitive information.

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3. EV or Extended Validation certificates

EV or Extended Validation certificates are a type of digital certificate that provides the highest level of assurance and trust. EV certificates are issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) after verifying the organization’s identity and ownership of the domain name.

Organizations that use EV certificates can have their business name and location displayed in the browser bar when customers visit their website. This helps increase confidence in the organization and its website, which can lead to more sales and repeat customers.

EV certificates are particularly well-suited for e-commerce websites, financial institutions, and other organizations that handle sensitive customer information.

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Final Word!

An SSL certificate is an essential tool for online security. It encrypts the data between your computer and the website you are visiting, making it much more difficult for hackers to steal your information. This article explained what an SSL certificate is, how it works, and why you need one. If you are ready to improve your online security, click the button below to purchase an SSL certificate.

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