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The Answer to the Five “W”s (What, Why, When, Which & Where) of SSL Certificate

If you are new to the word ‘€œSSL‘€, you are at the right place to know the What? Why? Where? When? & Who? of the SSL certificate.

Let’€™s start with the first ‘€œW’€: What? (What is an SSL certificate)

SSL or Secure Socket Layer is an autonomous protocol, providing an encrypted link between hosting server of your website and visitors’ browsers. SSL certificate includes the ‘€˜public’€™ & ‘€˜private’€™ key, with which it automatically encrypts the information.

When a user visits the website that has an SSL certificate, server utilizes the ‘public’€™ key to establish an encrypted browser connection. When the certificate is valid, the browser automatically confirms that the issuer of the certificate is verified & website is safe to visit. This process is called handshake.

Whenever you come across a padlock icon while surfing websites, you can rest assured that you are on a secure page and are safe from eavesdropping and hackers.

Here comes the second ‘€œW’€ Why!

Why I need an SSL certificate for my website? This is a very common question coming from many individuals involved with the e-commerce websites.

Actually SSL is the backbone of world wide web’€™s security as it protects sensitive data that travels across the web. All the personal data submitted online travels across the web from system to system to reach its destination server, so to maintain the integrity of that data an SSL certificate is used. On the internet, your personal information such as contact number, address, credit card details etc can be easily accessed by any 3rd party which may have deceitful intentions towards the sensitive information that you have submitted online.

But when an SSL certificate is used, the data becomes inaccessible to everyone except the server you intend to transfer the information to. This protects it from hackers and cyber thugs. Online security is the number one reason WHY an SSL certificate should be used.

‘W’€ When? (When does an SSL Certificate come in Picture)

Nope, an SSL is not at all mandatory for all the websites; you can have a website without an SSL. But this certificate has a vital importance as the extra security layer for all the e-commerce websites to prevent any data-thefts.

SSL certificate comes in to the picture, as mentioned above, when your site is dealing with exchanging private information of customers. Elaborating further, SSL certificate, however, is recommended for sites that store or handle financial information such as credit card number, contact details, password etc. SSL certificate can significantly assist in strengthening the security of your website and increase the confidence of users in your site.

SSL Certificate helps you provide a high level of data security on the web. Hence, SSL certificate is a must WHEN dealing with websites that involve data submission or any kind of online financial transaction.

Which?

In spite of having these countless options available in the market, choosing one SSL certificate for your business can get a little difficult. Let’€™s learn some easy-to-decide points to choose the most suitable SSL certificate. From the available options of SSL certificates, choose the one which suits your business/website requirements. There are mainly THREE types of SSL certificates available.

  • Domain Vetted SSL Certificates
  • Organization Vetted SSL Certificates
  • Extended Validation Certificates

Domain Vetted SSL is the SSL where Certification Authority verifies if the applicant organization owns its domain name. The Domain Vetted SSL certificates are issued within ‘€™no-time’€™ and the issuance procedure doesn’€™t require submitting any company paper. Domain Vetted SSLs are low-priced and are recognized by all the major browsers.

Organization Vetted SSL is where Certification Authority verifies the company information of the applicant. And when website visitors click on secure site seal, this additional information is displayed to customers like who’€™s behind the site and associated enhanced trust.

Extended Validation SSL is available for all types of business, be it any government entity, corporate organization or non-corporate business. Though, it’s not easy to get an EV SSL for everyone, as EV SSL vetting process will authenticate the applicant’€™s domain control and confirm the requesting entity’s legal existence and identity. But its worth going through this little lengthy process to buy one, as EV SSLs are the most trusted SSLs that offer Green Address Bar.

So, if you are worried about ID theft and the resulting loss of customer confidence, you need an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate that is recognized by high security browsers and shows the information about website owner and other visual cues like padlock icon and green address bar.

From Where?

Now, that you’€™ve decided to buy yourself an SSL certificate for the website, your concern must be to get it at the affordable price. So the question now is where to buy these SSL certificates from? There are many CAs like Symantec, GeoTrust, Thawte and Comodo – but the price of SSL certs on their sites are very high. There are re-sellers of trusted SSLs, which offer certificates at much cheaper rates; rather their rates are cheapest in the market as compared to the prices offered by the Certificate Authorities. So, instead of buying directly from the CAs, one should consider buying from the resellers as the authenticity of the certificate is the same at both the ends.

So, do not wait further and find the most suitable SSL certificate for your website and offer trust and satisfaction to visitors on your site.

Eric Corner is associated with CheapestSSLs.com – One of the Cheapest SSL Certificate Providers on The Web. Being an online security expert, he loves to write and read about web security. You can reach him on Google+ and Twitter


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Filed in: Security Tags: Internet security, Secure Socket Layer, SSL, web security

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