TRUST IS A MUST
Would you buy something from a business you didn't trust? Most likely not! That's where SSL Certificates come in. Websites that are installed with an SSL Certificates are websites you can trust. Read on to find out more about SSL Certificates and why all websites should have them.
WHAT IS AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a global standard security technology (security protocol), which enables secure encrypted communication between a web browser and a server. An SSL Certificate, also known as a Digital Certificate, is installed on a server to establish this secure encrypted connection.
SSL Certificates are used on websites to secure sensitive information passing through online connections. They were mostly used on the checkout page in eCommerce (online stores) websites but today, are used on all types of websites and are installed on the entire domain, not just the checkout.
BENEFITS OF AN SSL CERTIFICATE
It is good practice to have an SSL Certificate installed on your website whether or not you accept online payments or exchange sensitive information through your website.
Websites with SSL Certificates gain trust with website visitors, giving them peace of mind that the website owner has made best efforts to keep their connection to the website secure.
In 2014, Google introduced https secured websites as a ranking signal, which gives websites with SSL Certificates installed a ranking boost.
Many websites now have an SSL Certificate as, Google flags websites as 'not secure' in the address bar, if they don't. Websites without an SSL Certificate are penalised by Google.
SMALL COST AND WORTH IT
SSL Certificates are not expensive and so, are a small investment with big benefits for website owners.
The cost, however, does vary between the different types of certificates. Certificates are available with various types of validation, such as Domain Validation (DV Certificate), Organisation Validation (OV Certificate) and Extended Validation (EV Certificate).
The difference with the above named certificates is the validation process/vetting a website owner/organisation goes through when purchasings.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CERTIFICATES
DV Certificates are the quickest and less expensive certificates to purchase, with domain validation usually established via email.
OV Certificates require a little extra vetting to validate but, as long as a business is registered, the process will be straight-forward enough.
EV Certificates requre a thorough process of validation by the Certificate Authority to ensure a business is legitimate. It is also the more expensive certificate.
WHICH TYPE OF CERTIFICATE TO CHOOSE
OV Certificates are usually used by corporations, governments and other entities that prefer to provide an extra layer of confidence to their visitors.
EV Certificates would likely be used by high profile websites such as major brands, banks and financial institutions.
That's not to say that any website owner, no matter ow big or small, cannot avail of the highest validation certificate. The higher the validation, the higher the price. However, price should not be the primary factor in making a decision as to which certificate type is chosen.
The deciding factors for choosing which validation level to go for is the level of trust website owners want to offer their website visitors. The type and amount of sensitive information input on a website and whether a website is targetted by hackers and phishing.
SSL AND TLS
If you have been researching or purchasing an SSL Certificate, you may have come across the acronym TLS. This stands for Transport Layer Security. TLS is not an additional security protocol certificate but rather, the successor of SSL.
TLS is an improved encryption protocol and is what you are actually buying, these days. Therefore, SSL Certificates are really called TLS Certificates however, as SSL has been around for a long time, it is the better known name so, to keep it simple and avoid confusion, major brands decided not to change the name of their products to TLS. That is why we too decided to mainly refer to these digital certificates as SSL Certificates rather than TLS.
Go on, check it out - click or tap on the padlock of a website, in the address bar, which is secured with an SSL [TLS] Certificate and in te details link it will read 'The connection uses TLS' and it will state the version number. There are additional links here for more information on the certificate installed on the website and a link 'What does this mean', where you will be directed to a Google article containing further information on SSL [TLS] Certificates.
INSTALLING AN SSL CERTIFICATE
Have you ever noticed the 's' at the end of the 'http' in the address bar when browsing websites, i.e. https://example.com? This is one of the trust indicators that a website has an SSL Certificate installed. Another trust indicator is the padlock in the address bar to the left of the website address. You can click on this padlock to see the security details of the website and if it is an DV, OV or EV Certificate. You can also review the company information on OV and EV Certificates.
SO, WHAT'S NEXT?
We also write up website privacy policies, should you need one.
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