The internet is continuously evolving and the need to protect websites has become quite imperative. So is the requirement to provide solutions to ensure a website’s safety, thanks to the activities of the cybercriminals.
For quite some time now, Google has been looking into making the web a safer place. Henceforth, they are encouraging website owners to use the HTTPS protocol. This ensures the security of the website as the data is completely encrypted.
With the release of Google 68, Google has started marking all websites without the HTTPS protocol as unsafe. Whereas all others with HTTPS protocol will be displayed with green letters in the URL. This means that the website owners have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
Lets see the Importance Of SSL Certificate For Your Website.
What is an SSL Certificate?
It is a global standard security technology that ensures the encryption of sensitive data of visitors. Most commonly, the ‘s’ in the URL after HTTP ensures secure communication between web browsers and web servers.
Even if a website does not deal with sensitive information like credit cards, getting a digital certificate will safeguard the customer’s privacy. Not having an SSL certificate means that any third party can see the user’s sensitive information. If you see a padlock icon in the address bar next to the URL, it means that the website is SSL protected.
The inception of SSL took place 25 years ago. Since then there have been many versions of the SSL protocol, and all of them ran into security troubles. A revamped and still in use version is Transport Layer Security (TLS). However, the initials of the SSL protocol still remained and the new version is still called by the old name.
There are many organizations that have neglected the adoption of the SSL certificate. This is mainly due to its price and the complex process of its implementation. However, getting an SSL certificate nowadays is much easier. Moreover, there are a lot of initiatives that have made it free and eased the installation process.
Why is it important to have an SSL certificate?
Having a secure socket layer on the website is an out-and-out necessity nowadays, other than a luxury. It not only prevents cybercriminals from creating a fake version of the site but also makes it authentic for users. Here are a few benefits that website owners derive from an SSL certificate.
Increasing the security of the site
Some sensitive data in the form of login credentials, credit card transactions, legal documents, or bank account information are quite often exchanged over the web. If a website has an SSL certificate, the visitors’ data will be encrypted from being misused by attackers.
ALSO READ : Complete Guide To SSL/TLS/HTTPS
Another advantage of having an SSL certificate is that it helps in increasing the ranking of the website. Google has started an initiative of slightly boosting these websites with SSL certificates.
This in turn increases a website’s Search Engine Optimization. It also acts as an advantage for websites to rank above their competitors without an SSL certificate.
Credible source for securing the customers’ information
Significant importance of having an SSL certificate is that your visitors will be able to trust you as your website is authentic.
Since the address bar of your website will consist of a padlock icon, users will be sure about their privacy is in safe hands. Not having an SSL certificate will make the browsers label it as unsafe as the connection is not secure.
Protection of all the subdomains of a website
There are six types of SSL certificates out of which the Wildcard SSL certificate allows you to secure all the subdomains of the main website. For instance, subdomains like blog.yourdomain.com or shop.yourdomain.com can be secured with a single certificate.
If you are a business owner with large websites to handle, an SSL certificate will help you to protect all other subdomains. However, if you opt for any other type of SSL certificate, you would have to install separate certificates for each subdomain.
How to apply for an SSL certificate?
You can secure your SSL certificate from the Certificate Authority (CA), also known as Certification Authorities which issue millions of certificates each year. They play a critical role in how the internet operates and how transparent, trusted interactions can occur online.
The cost of an SSL certificate can range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on the level of security you require. After deciding the type of certificate you need to apply for, you can search for Certificate Issuers, which offer SSLs at different levels.
To obtain your SSL certificate, you need to observe the following steps:
- Set up your server and make sure that the WHOIS record is updated and in sync with the details you are submitting to the Certificate Authority. It should have the correct company name and address.
- Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on your server with the assistance of your hosting company.
- Submit the CSR to the Certificate Authority to receive a validation of your company domain and other details.
- Once the process is complete, configure the certificate on your web host or server if you are its owner.
The time required to receive an SSL certificate depends on what type of certificate you want and which certificate provider you choose to procure it from.
It takes a different length of time to complete each level of validation. While a simple Domain Validation SSL certificate takes a few minutes after it is applied for, an Extended Validation certificate can take full week.
Things that can be found in the SSL certificate
You can find the SSL certificate’s details by clicking on the padlock symbol that is found beside the URL of the address bar. The details that you will typically be able to find within the SSL certificate are as follows:
- The name of the person, organization or device to which the certificate was issued.
- Domain name for which the certificate was issued.
- Name of the issuing Certificate Authority.
- The digital signature of the Certificate Authority.
- Issue date and expiry date of the certificate.
- Associated subdomains.
- The public key (the private key is not revealed)
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