What is an SSL CertificateSecuring a website and ensuring protection for your potential customers is made easy with the help of Secure Socket Layer (SSL).

However, do you know what is an SSL and that cheap web hosting providers include a very basic form of free SSL on their servers?

Professional web hosting services like Exabytes configure advanced security settings on their servers and also provide SSL certificates to suit every business.

Once the question of how to create a website is answered, and the best web hosting service has been signed up, it is time to ensure your website security is taken care of and get SSL security.

In today’s world of e-commerce, an online business has to create a secure environment for customers. Anyone who visits a website should feel safe and confident of their data and privacy being protected.

What is an SSL

Secure Socket Layer protects netizens and their precious information, particularly when electronic communications are being sent or received.

It plays an even more important role when confidential transactions take place – for instance online payments.

The simplest way of identifying if a website is secured with an SSL is to look at your browser’s address bar.

Any website which has a lock symbol and begins with “https” should be deemed as being SSL secure.  An example of such a website is as below.

Technically – an SSL is a mechanism for creating a secure and encrypted link between a person accessing the website and the server on which the website is hosted.

An SSL certificate also secures emails and other such electronic data.

What is an SSL certificate

Now that we know what is an SSL certificate, the next question is do I need an SSL certificate?

Straight answer is yes! An SSL certificate is necessary to display security credentials to the rest of the world.

Imagine a visiting card being given to people you interact with;

An SSL certificate is your digital visiting card which says you are secure and that you ensure your customers and visitors’ confidential information cannot be stolen.

What does SSL certificate contain

There are entities called Certificate Authorities (CA) who issue an SSL certificate.

It majorly contains a public key which enables the creation of secure sockets or secure links between a web server and a web browser or a web client.

A secure web server also has a private key that is kept secret and helps decrypt the data encrypted with the public key.

A private key and a public key together are the major constituents of a SSL certificate. Needless to say, the answer to the question do I need an SSL certificate is also a “yes”.

Is SSL Needed for Website Security

While the price of a Secure Socket Layer certificate varies based on the type purchased, there are several advantages to having an SSL certificate.

Having an SSL certificate benefits e-commerce business and online stores in more ways than one.

  • Information you send or get through the site is private.
  • Creation of a stronger and trusted brand identity.
  • Assurance of a safe and secure website.
  • Protection for online payment transactions.
  • A shield to safeguard user inputs on a web page (e.g., name, address, credit card details) are protected and protection from online data theft.
  • Ability to use secure web protocols, safe website links.
  • Strong protection for online businesses, including standards and regulations.
  • Make potential customers feel safe and confident to perform online transactions or do business with you.
  • Prevent being penalized by search engines as they are legitimate and safe for users.
  • Websites with SSL get higher authority to rank better.
  • Improved SEO ranking.

Related article: Why Do You Need SSL Certificates?

How does SSL Certificate work

Once you get SSL security, it is a seamless two-step process which works 24×7 in the background.

  1. An SSL certificate initiates an authentication process called a handshake between two communicating devices to ensure that both devices are really who they claim to be. This is like two entrepreneurs exchanging their name cards and contact information at an event.
  1. After a handshake has been established, the SSL encrypts data which is then transmitted via a secure link. Anyone who tries to intercept this data can only see a garbled mix of characters which is extremely difficult to decode and decrypt.

As an add-on, an SSL certificate also digitally signs data to provide data integrity, verifying that the data is not tampered with before reaching its intended recipient.

A technical explanation of how an SSL certificate creates secure link

First – A browser connects to a web server (website) secured with SSL (https). Browser requests that the server identify itself.

Second – The server sends a copy of its SSL Certificate, including the server’s public key.

Third – The browser checks the certificate root against a list of trusted CAs to ascertain if the certificate is valid, unrevoked, and that its common name is applicable for the website that it is connecting to.

If the browser trusts the certificate, it creates, encrypts, and sends back a symmetric session key using the server’s public key.

Fourth – The Server decrypts the symmetric session key using its private key and sends back an acknowledgement encrypted with the session key to start the encrypted session.

Once all the above actions have taken place, the server and the browser now encrypt all transmitted data with the session key and then exchange all the information in an absolutely safe and secure link created by the SSL certificate.

What type of SSL certificate do I need

The SSL certificate price, although is an important factor, should not be the deciding element of the type of SSL certificate to be bought.

There are three major types of SSL certificate one can choose from.

  • Domain Validated (DV) Certificates – This works for websites like a blog or those who conduct small-scale business or operate a product website where there is very little customer information collected or exchanged.
  • Organization Validated (OV) Certificates – Business websites which have forms to fill and capture visitor and / or customer information which is not very sensitive in nature should use an OV SSL certificate.
  • Extended Validated (EV) Certificates – These offer the highest level of security, capable of handling confidential information such as financial transactions, sensitive visitor and customer data, user profiles, purchase history etc. EV SSL certificates is a must for businesses operating a commercial website with high visitor traffic and online payment systems.

How do I get a security certificate for my website

Getting an SSL certificate is as simple as buying it online from the best web hosting provider of your choice.  It easily installed with the help of professional tech support.

An SSL certificate helps offering a safe and secure consumer experience and helps boost SEO rankings.

At Exabytes Singapore, we offer online purchase of SSL certificates along with website security services and 24x7x365 tech support.

Also, we are offering completely free SSL Certificates with Exabytes Business Web Hosting Plan. For more information, please contact us now!

Host with Exabytes to Enjoy Free SSL now

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