Understanding the SSL Encryption

Know the importance of SSL in securing online transactions & user’s sensitive information.


Buy/Renew SSL Certificate with CerteraSSL

SSL Certificate and its Types

SSL or Secure Socket Layer Certificate helps strengthen the security of a website by creating an encryption channel for secure data transfers. Primarily, it establishes a communication channel between the server and the end-user’s browser to maintain data integrity and confidentiality. It uses an SHA 256-bit encryption algorithm for generating the secure pipeline.

An SSL Certificate only gets issued by a Certificate Authority after complete validation of the domain ownership and legitimacy of the organization. And once it gets installed on the server, it instantly boosts the website's security as well as reputation. The HTTPS you see in any website’s URL is only due to an SSL Certificate.

With the advancement in security procedures and policies, browsers check the authenticity and validity of SSL certificates before starting a session. An SSL Handshake process takes place in milliseconds between the web server and the browser. Firstly, the browser sends the connection request to a server and, in return, receives a copy of the SSL certificate. Further, the browser validates the SSL details and confirms to the web server that it wants or does not want to establish a session. If everything goes right, an encrypted connection gets established.

Furthermore, SSL Certificates are available in different types, which get categorized based on validation level and domain coverage. Under the validation level, you can obtain Domain Validated, Organization Validated, and Extended Validation SSL Certificates. And the domain coverage category includes Single Domain, Multi-Domain, Wildcard, and Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificate. Both validation level and domain coverage are available in combination. For instance, you can purchase an Organization Validated Multi-Domain SSL Certificate.

To get more specific about your requirement, you must thoroughly understand each type.


Domain Validated SSL Certificate

To avail of a DV SSL certificate, you only need to prove domain ownership to the CA. And after its issuance, you can use it for websites displaying information, such as blog sites.


Organization Validated SSL Certificate

To obtain an OV SSL certificate, you must be an organization situated at a physical location. After validating your company details, CA will issue you an OV SSL certificate, which you can use for securing sensitive data, such as login credentials.


Extended Validated SSL Certificate

EV SSL certificates only get issued to organizations with a minimum of three years of operability. And it's the only digital certificate that aligns with PCI-DSS, HIPPA, and HITECH standards.

Other common SSL Certificate Types

  • Single Domain SSL Certificate (Secures only one WWW or non-WWW primary domain)
  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificate (Allows to enable HTTPS on 250 different main domains)
  • Wildcard SSL Certificate (Enables to secure one main domain and all its sub-domains)
  • Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificate (Secures up to 250 different domains and their unlimited sub-domains)

A Seamless Procedure to Enable HTTPS in Browser

Step 1: Select the Certificate Authority

First, you require an SSL Certificate to enable HTTPS in the browser and display it to your website visitors. And to purchase it, you need to select a Certificate Authority. A CA is a primary authority with the required authorization to issue SSL certificates. While searching on the internet, you can find multiple Certificate Authorities.

However, you can eliminate such efforts by considering the expert-preferred Certificate Authorities, such as Comodo, Sectigo, and Certera. All three lead the market charts and comply with CA/B and NIST guidelines to provide avant-garde security solutions, ensuring data integrity.

Certificate Authority
Purchase the SSL Certificate and Complete Validation

Step 2: Purchase the SSL Certificate and Complete Validation

After selecting the Certificate Authority, you must choose an SSL Certificate according to business requirements. You need to focus on the validation type and domain coverage requisites while selecting the most appropriate digital certificate.

After purchasing an SSL certificate from the provider, you will receive an email from the Certificate Authority for the validation procedure. CA will ask you to fill out an enrolment form and submit the CSR and documents showcasing the organization's legitimacy. However, in the case of a DV SSL Certificate, only domain verification gets executed. After the complete validation procedure, you will receive the SSL certificate.

Step 3: Install the SSL Certificate

Lastly, you must install the SSL Certificate on the web/exchange server. To start its installation, export it from the browser to the local machine storage and follow the relevant procedure according to the server type and operating system.

However, while installing an SSL Certificate, always remember to enable automatic renewal, as it would help prevent disabling an encrypted channel. Also, create a backup server to maintain the data records in case of unexpected malicious activity. Additionally, enable HTTPS forcing to navigate all your visitors to your authentic and secure website, guaranteeing data integrity.

Install the SSL

How to Choose the Right SSL Certificate?

To choose the right SSL Certificate, you must focus on three primary aspects – Validation Type, Number of Domains/Sub-Domains, and Certificate Authority.

SSL Certificate based on Validation Type

SSL Certificates are available in three validation types as Domain Validation (DV), Organization Validation (OV), and Extended Validation (EV).

In Domain Validation, the applicant only must prove ownership of the domain, and it's the most effortless vetting process to complete. The Certificate Authority sends a verification link to the domain-registered email address, and DV SSL Certificate gets issued by clicking on it. You only have to spend 10 to 15 minutes obtaining the validation confirmation. However, DV certificates are only reliable for informational sites that only display data.

Further, the Organization Validated SSL certificate for firms operating websites that process personal information, such as login credentials, full names, addresses, or similar. An OV SSL certificate displays the company's name, which helps to distinguish a website from phishing or malicious ones. To obtain it, an organization has to prove its legitimacy by providing government-approved licenses and registration. And to issue it, CA takes around 1 to 3 days, during which document verification takes place.

Now comes the Extended Validation SSL Certificate, which ranks at the top among all three. It's the only SSL Certificate trusted by professionals for e-commerce, banking, government, and medical-associated websites. It complies with all necessary HIPPA/HITECH and PCI-DSS standards and ensures the integrity of sensitive information. In addition, it displays the complete statement of the website owner to the end-users, building confidence and rocketing the retention rates. To obtain an EV SSL certificate, enterprises must wait 3 to 5 days for CA to confirm their details.

SSL Certificate based on Domain/Sub-Domains Coverage

Every SSL Certificate secures a different number of domains/sub-domains. The single-domain SSL Certificate enables HTTPS only on one primary domain. For instance, you can configure it for www.domain1.com or domain1.com.

The next is Multi-Domain SSL Certificate. It provides the leverage to secure more than 200+ primary domains through a single SSL certificate. By default, it allows protection to only three domains (1 main domain + 2 SAN), but you can increase the number to 250 by adding SAN certificates under it. For instance:

  • www.domain1.com (Primary Domain)
  • www.domain2.in (SAN 1)
  • mydomain.uk (SAN 2)
  • onedomain.ca (SAN 3) and so on up to 250

Further is the Wildcard SSL Certificate, which provides the benefit of securing one fully qualified domain name and its unlimited sub-domains. You can add as many sub-domains as you want while participating in the vetting process and future until the certificate is valid. For instance:

  • *.domain1.com (Primary domains get represented with an asterisk)
  • mail.domain1.com
  • admin.domain1.com
  • blog.domain1.com

Lastly comes the Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificate. It’s only available at the DV and OV validation levels and provides functionality to establish encrypted data transfer on 250 main domains and all associated sub-domains. For instance:

  • www.domain1.com (Primary Domain 1)
  • www.domain2.uk (Primary Domain 2)
  • www.domain3.in (Primary Domain 3)
  • mail.domain1.com
  • blog.domain2.uk
  • admin.domain3.in
  • cart.domain2.UK

SSL Certificate based on Certificate Authority

A number of certificate authorities offer SSL certificates. But according to security experts' opinion, Comodo, Sectigo, and Certera are the most reputed CAs in the industry. All three follow the CA/B Forum standards and provide genuine SSL certificates, utilizing rock-solid encryption algorithms to safeguard data.

Comodo is a reputed Certificate Authority that has issued DV, OV, and EV SSL certificates for two decades and get trusted by all major browsers. Most organizations prefer Comodo SSL certificates for their websites due to their constant support, certificate updation, and compliance with industry policies. In addition, all its digital certificates are compatible with significant servers and ensure to provide a zero warning experience for end-users.

Further, Sectigo is also one of the most prominent Certificate authorities. Comodo is also a subsidiary of it, which makes its userbase to exponentially 700,000+ customers. In addition, around 35% of fortune 100 companies utilize Sectigo SSL certificates for their internet-facing and intranet portals.

Additionally, Certera comes into play if you are looking for an affordable option compared to Comodo and Sectigo. Certera SSL certificates also provide SHA 256-bit data encryption at a low price. And its support services are non-comparable in the industry, as you can contact them anytime for any general and technical query.

Importance of SSL Certificate

Business/Website Reputation and Sales Business/Website Reputation and Sales

When you install an SSL certificate, websites display HTTPS with the URL and padlock symbol in the address bar. And whenever visitors view all such trust signs, they understand that they are navigating on a CA-verified domain and their data is secure throughout the session. As a result, people prefer your website to avail services or buy products, which increases the incoming traffic, sales, and overall revenue.

Instant Website SecurityInstant Website Security

With an SSL certificate, you can instantly secure the data transmissions. SSL certificates are available at different validation levels and take a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 5 days to get issued. In such a minimal time, you can configure SHA 256-bit data encrypted channel between the web server and the client's web browser. It will help you assure data integrity to customers and align with mandatory security standards defined by browsers.

Browser TrustBrowser Trust

Nowadays, browsers only trust websites with SSL certificates and allow only their access to the end-user. Before starting a session with any web server, the browser checks the validity and authenticity of its SSL certificate. Therefore, if you install an SSL Certificate for your domain or IP, the browser will treat it legitimately, and all the security warnings will be eliminated. And all your current and new customers will have a smooth site experience.

Boost SEO Ranking Boost SEO Ranking

Most search engines consider SSL as a ranking metric to encourage and maintain digital security. Websites with valid SSL certificates get priority as compared to non-secure websites. Whenever the end-user searches for some services or product, search engines display the results, including sites with SSL certificates only. Hence, utilizing an SSL certificate plays a primary role in increasing the website ranking across multiple search engines and increasing reach to the target audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have Questions? We're here to help.

Why is SSL Certificate necessary?

SSL Certificate is mandatory by search engines and browsers to provide end-users a secure environment and prevent malicious activities. Moreover, it encrypts the data transfer channel between two systems, particularly between the browser and web server, to assure data integrity.

What type of certificate do I need for a blogging website?

A domain-validated SSL certificate is a reliable choice for a blogging website. It gets issued within minutes, and as no personal information is processed, you must prefer it. Further, if you only need to protect only one domain, then a Single-Domain SSL certificate is acceptable; otherwise, you can select according to your requirements.

Which SSL Certificate should I choose for an e-commerce website?

For an e-commerce store, an Extended Validated SSL certificate is a perfect choice. It complies with all PCI-DSS standards to offer a secure payment gateway for credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and other banking options.

How can I affordably secure multiple different domains with SSL?

You must purchase a Multi-Domain SSL certificate to secure numerous primary domains. It will aid you in enabling HTTPS on 250 websites simultaneously. With the first buy, you can protect three domains, and later you can buy SAN certificates at a cheap price to protect more 247 domain names.

How does an SSL Certificate work?

SSL Certificate installs on a web server. When someone tries to access a website, the browser reaches out to the appropriate server and requests its SSL certificate. Then, the server sends a copy of the digital certificate. And the browser verifies its validity and details. If the SSL certificate seems correct, the browser acknowledges the server, and an encrypted communication pipeline gets built between them.

Is TLS and SSL certificate different?

SSL and TLS (Transport Security Layer) are the same, providing similar functionality to transmit data between systems securely. Moreover, TLS is an advanced version of SSL, which uses a refined and more robust encryption mechanism.

Which is the best SSL Certificate?

All types of SSL certificates are best in their way. It entirely depends upon your needs to determine which SSL certificate would suit you. Before selecting any of them, you must understand all the types of SSL certificates.

What happens if my SSL Certificate expires?

If your SSL certificate expires, browsers will warn your visitors whenever they open the website. And all data transfers will take place in the original format. Hence, you should always remember the expiration date and renew the certificate before it, or you must automate certificate renewal.

How can I check SSL installation on my website?

You must open the website on a browser to check the successful installation of an SSL/TLS certificate. If it shows you HTTPS and a padlock icon in the address bar/URL, then SSL is working correctly. And the other method is to use an SSL Checker Tool.

How SSL boosts SEO ranking and revenue?

All search engines have made SSL certificates mandatory for websites. And while inspecting the site content, they also analyze the web security. If the SSL certificate is present, it boosts the ranking; otherwise downgrades it to protect end-users from malicious threats.

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