What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate, also known as a Digital Certificate, is basically a digital file (a piece of code) which secures the data a user enters on a web interface (example: website, email).
When a user enters his name, email, passwords, credit card details or any criticalinformation on a website, SSL encrypts it into a code and passes it on to the server. If a hacker tries to copy a message while the data from a webpage is being transferred to the server, hecan only see a code and not the actual information the user entered.
So, you see, SSL encrypts the communication between a website and an internet browser.
Let’s discuss a bit more about SSL, so in case you are researching more on the web about it, it won’t appear as technical jargon.
‘SSL’ stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer protocol) is the technology that provides encryption.
It is the technology that provides encryption. SSL certificate if installed on your website ensures that all data that is passed between your website and the server is private and secure.
The data transferred is encrypted using algorithms so that it is not plain text that can be read while in transit. This prevents hackers from accessing personal data such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers. So, if you sell products or services online and accept credit cards as payment, you need an SSL certificate to secure your website. Once a secure connection is in place, all the traffic between your web server and browser will be secure.
Even if you are not accepting payments online, SSL is necessary and important.
Here are some benefits of having an SSL certificate even if you don’t accept payments online.
Your customers share their name, address and their email addresses with you. They trust you and so they are sharing their contact information either in comments or through your contact forms. Their privacy is your concern and SSL helps you mitigate or reduce the risk of your clients’ data being stolen.
Also, your customers are getting aware of the web and its security. They would love or prefer to transact or share their personal and professional information with a website which is secured and not with an unsecured website. SSL certificate once installed on your website, assures your visitor that your website is secured.
The SSL certificate must be installed on the web server to initiate secure sessions with browsers. When a website is secured using SSL certificate, you can see https:// at the start of the web address instead of http:// where “s “stands for secure.
The SSL once installed your website name in the browser looks like this:
You would have seen a bit of difference with SSL certificates visibility on the different website. More on this is covered in the next sections below.
Just in case you need a little more technical detail
There are various types of SSL certificates and with many combinations of options.
Depending on the browser and the certificate installed, a padlock or a green bar is visible when you visit the website.
The details of the certificate such as the issuing authority and the company name of the site owner can be seen by clicking on the padlock symbol on the browser bar.
Let us see how a website with an SSL certificate installed looks like in a Standard SSL and in Extended SSL:
Standard SSL Certificates display:
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates display:
(Note: There are many varieties of SSL certificates and you can comment below or contact us through the contact us page to ask further questions.)
Before we discuss how it works, you should not be overwhelmed by the terms “TLS” and ” SSL”.
These two words “TLS” and “SSL” are spread all over the internet and while you are researching more about SSL, you will get to see these two words. Our purpose is not to bombard you with terminologies which scientists or engineers speak. You are a business guy/girl, an entrepreneur and it is acceptable that you will love to read if we describe in plain English.
TLS is based on SSL and was developed as a replacement in response to known vulnerabilities in SSLv3.
SSL is the term commonly used, and today usually refers to TLS.
SSL/TLS provides data encryption, data integrity and authentication.
This means that when using SSL/TLS you can be confident that
No one has read your message
No one has changed your message
You are communicating with the intended person (server)
When sending a message between two parties you have two problems that you need to address.
How do you know that no one has read the message?
How do you know that no one has changed the message?
The solutions to these problems are to:
Encrypt it – This makes the content unreadable so that to anyone viewing the message it is just gibberish.
Sign it– This allows the recipient to be confident that it was you who sent the message, and that the message hasn’t been changed.
Both of these processes require the use of keys.
These keys are simply numbers (128 bit being common) that are then combined with the message using a particular method, commonly known as an algorithm- e.g. RSA, to either encrypt or sign the message.
Confused about the keys and the technical terms. Well, we got you covered in the section below “How does an SSL certificate work?”
However, we do offer stronger, tougher SSL certificates installation.
Protect 1 site with all the features listed below for only $147/year. (includes Free installation service worth $120)
- A Standard SSL to secure your one website
- Domain validation
- SHA-2 & 2048-bit encryption(16x more secured).
- Boost SEO rankings
- Fast issuance in 5min
- Display HTTPS & padlock
- Security trust seal
- Support unlimited servers
- Free unlimited reissues
- $100,000 USD warranty
And here we continue with the further information which we’re sure would help you.
How does an SSL Certificate work?
When an SSL certificate is installed on a web server and a browser connects to it, the SSL protocol is triggered which encrypts information sent between the two.
SSL protocol operates on top of the transmission control protocol (TCP). It provides a secure connection while the other protocol layers remain unchanged. So underneath the SSL protocol, other protocol layers function as normal. When a hacker tries to intercept information, he may be able to see which IP and port is connected but not the rest of the URL. Thus, the important information is secure.
The mechanism works in the following way:
- Once the TCP connection is established, SSL initiates a handshake.
- The server sends the certificate to the user including SSL version and encryption methods.
- The user checks the validity of the certificate and starts a secure session using the encryption method. The method used is called public key cryptography.
The cryptography method uses two keys which are randomly generated numbers. One is a public key as it is in the public domain and the other is a private key. The website sending message to the server locks it with a public key but it can be decrypted only by using the server’s private key. Since the server is the only one who can use the private key, only it can unlock the website’s message. Even if a hacker tries to intercept the message in transit, he will just get a code that he cannot break.
And here we continue with further information which we’re sure would help you.
We hope this article has given you a fair idea about the significance of SSL.
SSL helps you build trust with your customers as they know that their personal details will remain safe with your website. This makes your website reliable and trustworthy. Going forward consumers will increasingly prefer to transact with secure websites, so getting an SSL certificate will make your website future ready.
Let’s make our websites more secure and our businesses more reliable.
In the comments, please let us know your opinions and share your website if you have made your website secured after been inspired through this article.
Why Should You Care?
This is what you experience when you are on a Secured Website vs. Insecured Websites.
This is what you experience when you are on a Secured Website vs. Insecured Websites.
Google Chrome marks all Non-SSL Sites as "Not Secure" starting July' 2018.
Why Your Website Revenue hurts without SSL?
- Improved Search Rankings
- More Leads & Sales
- Display HTTPS & Padlock
- 100% Money-Back Guarantee
- $100,000 Protection
Install SLL and let your traffic feel secured while they stay. Once traffic starts staying on your website, you have more chances to convert them into prospective business leads & definitely MORE SALES.
Once you have secured your website with SSL certificate, not only your visitors, but all major search engines also start recognizing your website as "SAFE". This is where you start to build TRUST.
We are so sure of our SSL certificate authenticity that we give unconditional 30-Days 100% Money-Back Guarantee. So your every penny is secured as soon as we install SSL Certificate and your site goes LIVE with https and secure padlock symbol.
We sell the SSL certificates of Starfield and you are protected by Starfield to cover your loss for up to $100,000 USD. Starfield covers all our customers with it's Liability Protection. Our SSL certificate not only builds trust with your website visitors, but also covers your liabilities arising due to data protection breach when the SSL is securing your website.
We request all our customers to secure a copy of checklist which you can further share with your internal compliance and your software's security team.