A Guide To Using SSL Certificates For Website Owners


The internet has become an integral part of modern human life. In fact, it is impossible to imagine a world without this technology. However, it is also prone to misuse by unscrupulous elements who are looking to gain unauthorized access to interfaces. Using SSL certificates to protect websites, therefore becomes essential. People have become aware of visiting safe sites and Google also recommends using the license. Owners must approach SSL certificate providers to get the security measure for their interface. This has become a vital trust signal that visitors check for before using a website. In this article, we are presenting some information about SSL and why are they important. 

What Is An SSL Certificate?

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) helps create an encrypted link between a website and a browser. These digital certificates provide authentication for the identity of the interface. Users need to install SSL certificates on their server to enable the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). This is the secure version of the HTTP protocol which is used for communication between a server and a browser. Even if this communication accessed by an unauthorized entity, its encrypted nature will render it incomprehensible. 

How Do SSL Certificates Work?

Let us now learn about how these licenses actually work. When a visitor tries to access a website which has enabled the certificate, the browser used by him/her asks the web server to identify itself. The web server in reply furnishes an encrypted copy of its SSL certificate to the browser. After receiving the certificate copy, the browser makes a decision regarding whether it trusts the website’s license or not and sends an encrypted message to the server. A digitally signed acknowledgment is now sent by the server after decoding the message so that an encrypted session can be initiated. The server then starts communicating with the browser by sending encrypted content which the browser decodes.

Why Is An SSL Certificate Necessary?

While business website owners like e-commerce operators will understand the importance of using SSL certificates, other users may not be convinced of their utility. Even if an interface is not being used for commercial transactions, it will be involved in accessing some kind of user information. These days websites routinely use analytics tools to monitor their performance. Privacy laws in various jurisdictions around the world make the party accessing the personal data of individuals liable for its protection. Moreover, Google also uses the feature as a ranking signal. Website owners must use the licenses to protect their interfaces from hazards like hijacking which require them to initiate complex domain name recovery proceedings.

How To Check If A Website Is Secure?

It is very easy to know whether an interface has enabled the safety feature or not. A glance at the URL of the website in the address bar of the browser is enough to check its security status. In most browsers, an interface secured with an SSL certificate will show the sign of a green padlock followed by the word “secure”. The https protocol will also be visible in the URL. 

Where Can SSL Certificates Be Obtained?

SSL certificates can be acquired from agencies called Certification Authorities (CAs). Users have to apply for licenses to these agencies who then provide the certificate. Most professional web hosting services also provide SSL certificate services. An important point to remember is that these licenses do not come with lifetime validity and users must keep track of the expiry date to renew them in time. 

Are There Different Types of SSL Certificates?

There are three different types of SSL Certificates:

i. Domain Validated SSL Certificates: These certificates are issued after the CA ensures that the applicant is authorized to use the domain name.

ii. Organization Validated SSL Certificates: The domain ownership as well as organizational details like its name, address etc. are verified before issuing these licenses.

iii. Extended Validation SSL Certificates: Additional verifications like the legal existence of the organization are conducted apart from those listed in the above two certificates for issuing the license.

Conclusion 

Using SSL certificates is not a luxury but a necessity for modern website owners. The license helps in communicating the secure nature of interface to visitors and protects valuable information from breaching.

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