Have you ever wondered how some URLs begin with http:// and others begin with https://?
You saw the extra “s” as you were browsing websites. That required you to enter sensitive information, such as when you paid bills online.
But where did that extra “s” originate from, and what exactly does it mean?
The extra “s” indicates that your connection to that website is secure and encrypted. And that any data you provide is transmitted to that website according to the website.
SSL, which stands for “Secure Sockets Layer,” is the technology that enables that small “s.”
As a customer, you should always look for https:// when visiting any website you trust with sensitive information. As a marketer, you should have an SSL certificate. Or something similar for your potential customers.
Let’s take a look at why SSL is so important.
- What is an SSL certificate?
- What are the Types of SSL certificates?
- How can I obtain an SSL certificate for my website?
- Is SSL good for SEO?
- How can I tell if my website is secured with SSL?
What is an SSL certificate?
When you arrive at a page with a form to fill out and submit, the information you provide could be intercepted by a hacker on an unsecured site.
Such information may vary from bank transaction details and an email address used to register for an offer. That “interception” is referred to as a “man-in-the-middle attack” in hacker terminology.
Do you want to know how attacks happen? One of the most prevalent methods is as follows:
A hacker installs a modest, undetectable listening malware on a server. That hosts a website.
That malware remains in the background. Until a visitor begins submitting information on the page, at this point, it activates to start collecting the data and sending it back to the hacker.
When you visit an SSL-encrypted website, your browser will establish a link with the webserver. Verify the SSL certificate, and connect your browser and the server afterward. This high-affinity session is secure, so no one else can do anything. But access what you typed except you and the website.
That connection occurs. And some believe it is faster than connecting to an unsecured website. All you have to do is visit a website that uses SSL, and your connection will be ins encrypted.
SSL is a type of security technology, and it is a protocol between servers and web browsers that ensures data privacy between the two. All of this is done through the usage of an encrypted communication between the server and the browser.
Companies that ask for personal details from a user. Including an email or payment information should have SSL certificates on their website.
Using it means that the information you’re collecting is confidential. And it assures customers that when they see the padlock and https://, their privacy is secure.
SSL certificates are classified according to the level of validation and encryption are given. And also the number of domains or subdomains authorized by the certificate.
Depending on the SSL you have, you can earn one among three sorts of certificates. Let’s go into depth on them.
What are the Types of SSL certificates?
SSL certificates are classified as encryption and validation, as well as domain numbers. They are classified into three types and can be applied on the SSL website.
A Certificate Authority (CA). Software developed for operating and issuing and processes these certificates.
It offers domain, organization, and extended validation certificates for encryption and validation. There are three kinds of certificates based on the domain number: single, multi-domain, and wildcard.
1. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate
This certificate displays the padlock, HTTPS, company, and country in the address bar. To avoid being mistaken for a spam website.
Extended Validation (SV) SSL certificates are the most expensive to buy. But they are useful in demonstrating the legitimacy of your domain from the web address.
To set up an EV SSL certificate. You must first confirm that you are the authorized owner of the application domain. That makes sure you are obtaining the information required to carry out tasks. Or something like a credit card number for a transaction process.
Any organization can get an EV SSL certificate. And it is a primary focus, particularly for businesses that must provide identity verification.
For example, if your website accepts online payments. Or gather information, you should get this certificate.
2. Organization Validated (OV SSL) Certificate
That certificate certifies the legitimacy of your organization and domain validity. Organization Validated (OV) SSL certificates we can achieve in two steps. And it provides a medium level of encryption.
First, the Certificate Authority would check who owns the domain. And whether the organization is lawful operational.
Users can see a little green padlock with the company’s name underneath it in the browser.
Suppose you don’t have the financial means for an Extended Validation (EV) SSL. But still want to provide a medium level of encryption, use this class of certificate.
3. Domain Validation (DV) Certificate
The Domain Validation (DV) certificate provides a moderate level of encryption. It is indicated by a green padlock next to the URL in the address bar.
It is the quickest validation method accessible. And you’ll only need several documents to register.
When you submit your DNS to the CA, the verification occurs. The CA will verify the individual’s rights. To own the domain getting submitted for this certificate. Keep in mind, DVs only safeguard the domain itself, not subdomains.
Unlike EV SSL, the CA will not confirm any identifying data, so you will not know who gets your encrypted data. Thus, a DV can serve as a higher-level SSL if your company can afford it.
4. Wildcard SSL Certificates
Wildcard SSL Certificates are classified as “domain and subdomain number.” Wildcard SSLs ensure that if you get an SSL certificate for one domain, you can also use it for subdomains.
For instance, if you acquired a Wildcard, for example.com. You could use it to secure mail.example.com and blog.example.com.
One such solution is to buy many SSL certificates for a number or domain.
5. SSL Certificate for Unified Communications (UCC)
It also referred as Multi-domain SSL certificates. Unified Communications certificates (UCCs) makes several domain names that can even be on a single certificate.
UCCs were designed to bridge connectivity between both a single server and a browser. But they have now been expanded to accommodate many domains owned by the same person.
To confirm verification, a UCC in the address bar displays a padlock. It can also be classified as EV SSL unless they display the green text, padlock, and home country.
The only difference is the total number of domain names with which this certificate is linked.
Multi-domain SSL certificates can protect up to 100 domains. If you ever need to change the names in any way, you can do so using the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) option. You can use multi-domain names like www.domain.co.uk, www.domain.com, mail.example.com, as well as checkout.example.com.
6. Single Domain SSL Certificate
A Single Domain SSL certificate protects only one domain, and you can’t use the same certificate to secure subdomains or a separate domain.
Let’s say if you buy a certificate, for example.com, you won’t be able to use it for blog.example.com or 2ndexample.com.
How can I obtain an SSL certificate for my website?
To get an SSL certificate for your website or websites. The first thing you need to consider is what type of certificate you need.
For instance, you may need different SSL certificates if you host content on various platforms, including different domains/subdomains.
For the most part, a standard SSL certificate will work to secure your website.
Although, if your company is in a regulated industry like banking or insurance. You should check with your IT team to ensure that you’re following the unique SSL certificate requirements set in your company/organization.
SSL certificates differ in pricing. Even so, you can get a free certificate or spend each month on a customized certificate.
On the free side, Let’s Encrypt provides certificates for no charge. But I tell you to get the help of someone familiar with your website’s DNS. And also with the technical configuration.
These certificates would usually expire after 90 days, so keep them up to date.
One of the other important factors to consider is the certification’s validity period. Most regular SSL certificates are valid for one to two years by default. But if you need something longer-term. It would help if you looked into much more advanced certificates with long periods.
Is SSL good for SEO?
Yes. The main aim of SSL is to secure information transfer between two visitors and your website. There seem to be SEO benefits too, and Google Webmaster Trends Analysts says, is a factor of Google’s search ranking algorithm.
Furthermore, suppose two websites have identical content. But one has SSL installed, and the other does not.
As it’s encrypted, the first website likely receives a slight rank benefit. As a result, installing SSL on your site and throughout your web pages does have a clear SEO benefit.
How can I tell if my website is secured with SSL?
If you visit a website that uses SSL, you will notice a few distinct differences in the browser. Follow the link here to access a free SSL checker.
1. The URL says “http://” and not http://
The URL does look like the image below. Remember that an SSL-encrypted site will thus include the “s” tag for “secure.” Also, that text often seems green, preceded by a green padlock.
2. A padlock icon will appear in the URL bar.
Based on your browser, the padlock will appear on the left or right side of the Url bar. On Chrome and Safari, it will be on the left.
You may read more about the site and the company that issued the certificate by clicking on the padlock.
3. The certificate is valid.
If a website has https:// and a padlock, the certificate can also be expired. And making your connection insecure.
In most cases, a website that displays https is secure. But if you come across a site that requests sensitive personal information, it may be worth double-checking to see if the certificate is valid.
In Google chrome. Click to View > Developer > Developer Tools to determine whether the certificate is valid. Then, browse the Security page. To determine whether the SSL certificate is valid or expired.
When you click the View certificate button, you’ll be allowed to see more information about the SSL certificate as well as the actual date it’s valid.
Whenever next time you visit a website, look at the encryption status. I realized that I could check the security of my data by clicking a small padlock.
So, if you work for a company that does not have SSL certificates, consider them a part of your next target set. Thus, where you can secure your clients’ data and privacy.