Today, anybody using the internet is concerned about their security. In case you are running a website, you have to show the users, yours is a trustworthy site and provides a secure connection. This means you have to get an SSL certificate.
What is the Purpose of an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is crucial for a website to have HTTPS encryption. It contains the site’s public key, the issuing certificate authorities’ digital signature, domain name, and other required details. An SSL certificate is used to authenticate an initial server’s identity. This, in turn, helps in preventing on-path attacks or domain spoofing used by attackers.
HTTPS creates a secure and encrypted connection between the web server and the user’s browser. So, users don’t have to worry about communications being intercepted. SSL certificates are crucial for establishing an encrypted and secure connection.
How Does an SSL Certificate Work?
SSL certificates are data files that can verify a secure connection between the web server and website depending on public-key cryptography. The private key is already known to the server. So, it can encrypt a message that is sent to the site. However, one can only decrypt the message using the public key present in the certificate.
SSL certificates are developed and issued by CA. There are different types of SSL certificates, and all depend on their validation levels.
Types of SSL Certificate to Consider for Your Website
There are five types of SSL Certificates. Let’s explore them. We are going to tell you what makes them different from each other.
Extended Validation Certificates
With Extended Validation or EV SSL Certificate, the CA checks the applicant’s right to use a particular domain name. It also conducts a thorough vetting of the organization. The issuance process of the EV SSL Certificate is defined in the EV Guideline. The CA looks for proof of the existence of the organization, identity, legal status, ownership, and more.
It is the most expensive SSL certificate and also quite time-consuming. However, the time might vary with the CA you use. Usually, you have to wait 1-2 weeks to receive approval.
But what’s good is the certificate offers the highest level of security. So, users can be sure that the information is safe with the site. Furthermore, a majority of the browsers will indicate that the connection is secure and safe
EV are great for sites that handle personal data, and allow visitors to purchase goods and services.
In case of organization validation, the CA will check the applicant’s right to use the domain and conduct vetting of the organization. When customers click on the Secure Site Seal, they will find additional details about the company. Thus, it provides more visibility in regards to who is behind the site and enhances trust. Under the ON field, users will get to see the name of the organization.
A certificate like this is costlier than domain validation. But it might take longer to get an approval. At times, it might take a few business days. So, the CA gets enough time to conduct a short investigation. This makes the certificate less convenient.
But organization validation is more secure as visitors can find details about who runs the site without any hassle. This facilitates better trust between the user and you.
So, if your site collects sensitive data, such as e-commerce platforms get an organization validation certificate.
Domain validation is the simplest method. In order to get one of the SSL certificates, you have to prove that you have got the domain name. Usually, the CA is either going to perform the validation or just by checking the Domain Name System records for the site.
The benefit of domain validation is that it is simple and quick. So, you can secure it in minutes. Also, it is the cheapest SSL certificate you can get. A few are even available for free.
But domain validated certificates also offer the least security. Users will know that the details are encrypted and are unable to verify you are who you claim to be. A few browsers display sites with this certificate using a gray warning icon just next to the URL.
Nevertheless, if your site is not dealing with sensitive information, you have nothing to worry about.
A single domain certificate applies to just one domain. Thus, you can’t use it for authenticating any other domain. This includes the domain’s subdomains. All pages of the domain are secure using the certificate.
Wildcard SSL certificates are ideal for a single domain and its subdomains. The subdomains are under the main domain. Generally, subdomains contain an address that starts with something other than ‘www.’ Any subdomain is listed in the SSL certificate. So, a user will be able to check the list of subdomains under a certain certificate by clicking on the padlock present in the URL space of the browser and clicking on the ‘Certificate’ to check the details.
This kind of SSL certificate is useful for sites with heavy transactions requirements.
A multi-domain certificate lists multiple domains on a single certificate. With these certificates, domains that aren’t subdomains of each other can share the certificate. So, it covers a whole suite of sites. They offer you the flexibility to cover the sites that might go away or don’t exist.
Irrespective of the type of site you are running, it is necessary to ensure that the connection is secure. This is one of the best ways to promote trust in the organization and site. In order to do this, you have to choose the right SSL certificate.
But before choosing the SSL certificate, you have to understand the difference between the various SSL certificates. Remember, there is nothing more important in the digital world than keeping private details safe and secure. SSL certificates are crucial to maintaining trust with the customers and visitors.
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