Advantages of having a SSL certificate

What is a SSL certificate?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a cryptographic protocol designed to keep communication safe over the Internet. An SSL certificate is a digitally signed file issued for a particular domain name/domain names. Besides the domain name, the certificate also contains the issuer signature, serial number, expiration date, etc. To enable a secure connection and protect important information, an SSL certificate file should be installed on the server. Once the SSL installation is completed, you can securely access your service via HTTPS or any other SSL protocols like FTPS, IMAPS, POP3S, SMTPS, NNTPS, LDAPS, etc.

So, let’s take a look at main advantages of using a SSL certificate.

Encryption

An SSL certificate helps to protect sensitive information such as logins, passwords, account details and cardholders information for e-commerce websites during Internet communication. Basically, Internet is a chain of computers, and every computer which takes part in data transfer from source to destination can read and recognize unencrypted information. The main idea is that all information is encrypted before being submitted, and only the web server and website visitor have personal keys to decrypt and recognize it. Encryption prevents eavesdropping and tampering information by hackers and identity thieves.

Authentication

It is important to know that a website you would like to visit and where you want to make a payment is authentic and trustworthy. To ease identification, the website server sends an SSL certificate to your web browser for verification. The web browser analyzes the information received from the SSL certificate and decides whether the certificate is trusted or not. Why some SSL certificates are trusted, and others are not? The main difference is that trusted SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities after the applicant (website owner) passes their verification procedures. Every modern web browser with up-to-date configuration trusts the SSL certificates issued by Certificate Authorities. The verification depth and trust level mostly depend on the validation type of a particular SSL certificate.

  • Domain validation. The most affordable and the least verified SSL certificate type. Usually, the Certificate Authority verifies only domain control rights for a particular domain name.
  • Organization validation. SSL certificates of this type contain the company name and address by default. The person who applies for an OV certificate should prove that the organization is real. The organization details must be accessible in online public databases; the organization’s phone number is verified as well. The Certificate Authority may also require additional paperwork to prove the company’s identity.
  • Extended validation. Only EV certificates provide a green bar with the company name and the highest user trust level. Besides OV requirements, an EV certificate can be applied for by a legal employee (VP, Officer, CEO, CIO) who has the authority to sign a subscriber agreement and a certificate request. The organization must have been registered and have been in operation for more than 3 years; otherwise, the CA may require additional paperwork.

Google search ranking boost

Starting from 06/08/2014, Google announced that having an SSL certificate installed on your website will increase your ranking position, which is another great reason to use SSL

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