SSL Certificates – A Simple Way to Safe Communication

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SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and simply put it is a technology that enables safe communication between the user and the website. This encrypted communication actually safeguards a user’s personal information.

Many online sites require their users to input their credit cards, address, passwords, etc. In these situations, the SSL prevents anyone else from tapping into these sensitive details.

Thus, an SSL ensures that the user and the website are the only two sides that are part of that convo. Simply put, it prevents hackers from tampering with or stealing sensitive information.

What Are SSL Certificates?

To have SSL encryption, a site has to obtain an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate practically allows the website to transfer from HTTP to HTTPS i.e. a more secure protocol that is used to transfer data.

Every SSL Certificate contains the public key of the website and its identity, meaning the website’s domain name, the authority that issued it, who it is issued to, when it is issued and until when it can be used, etc.

An SSL Certificate is stored on the website’s origin server in a form of a key. This key is secret because with it, the user can verify their identity to the server.

Who Needs an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is highly recommended for any website that deals with sensitive information, such as bank information, personal information of the users, etc. This also includes individuals that have a personal website that incorporates this idea.

With the SSL Certificate, an owner can prove that their website is encrypted i.e. safe. Moreover, it provides a safe connection between the user and the server.

Take online casinos as an example. There are countless online casinos in existence, but only the best casinos will have this type of security. This way, bettors can compare the best casino bonuses in the UK knowing that their info is safe.

Types of SSL Certificates

All SSL certificates are different. They can be divided according to the number of domains and subdomains they cover, or on the level of validation.

The number of domains and subdomains:

  • Single – secures one domain or subdomain;
  • Multi-domain – secures multiple domains or subdomains;
  • Wildcard – secures one domain and multiple subdomains. The level of validation needed:
  • Domain Validation – it has basic encryption and thus is the least expensive. The owner can receive it In a couple of minutes or hours, and the website will be secured.
  • Organization Validation – in addition to the basic encryption, this type also authenticates the owner. This validation can be obtained in a couple of hours or days.
  • Extended Validation – it has the highest degree of encryption, meaning it is also the most expensive one. Extended validation authenticates that the site exists legally, authenticates the owner, and validates the domain.

How Can I Get an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CA) which are bodies that can verify if the website is legit. So, getting an SSL certificate from a good CA is crucial for the website’s future.

The CA accepts applications, verifies the information, and issues a certificate. Keep in mind that web browsers have a list of trusted CA’s. The moment you sign with a CA that is not part of said list, you will get a notification saying that this site may not be trustworthy.

Once you have the certificate, it needs to be installed on the website i.e. activated on the origin server.

How to Know if a Website Has an SSL Certificate

To know if a website is secure or not, all you need to do is follow the URL. If a site has an SSL certificate there will be an “HTTPS” tag instead of “HTTP.”

Moreover, on the left side next to it, there should be a lock, indicating that the communication is secure. Sometimes, the site itself will have a so-called trust seal.

Last but not least, some browsers show the address as green when there is an SSL certificate on that site.

The SSL certificate will give you peace of mind, knowing that the communication between you and the server (the site) is always protected by ‘the middle man’ who might try to steal your info.

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