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Learn about the importance of an SSL certificate for your website.

Do you own a website? Are you looking to gain customer trust? If so, it is essential to secure your website. You need to understand the significance of an SSL certificate for your website, which helps protect the website from hacking. Additionally, it is important to know the validity period of the SSL certificate for the site and how to renew it. All of this we will explore today.

What is an SSL certificate?

It is a digital certificate that identifies the identity of a website and enables an encrypted connection between the web server and the web browser. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”, indicating a secure layer for socket connections.

An SSL certificate has existed for 25 years, and during this period, the SSL protocol experienced several updates, with the latest protocol currently in use the TLS (Transport Layer Security). The SSL certificate ensures the security of online communications by preventing criminals and outsiders from reading or modifying transmitted information. When the browser displays a padlock symbol next to the URL, it signifies that an SSL certificate protects the website.

Importance of an SSL Certificate for Your Website

Recently, SSL certificates have become an essential element of any website due to the various benefits they offer, such as

  1. Protection of Website Data from Theft

SSL certificates provides a technology to safeguard data transmitted between the browser and the server of any website. This encryption ensures that the information is secure, preventing unauthorized access.

  1. Improvement of Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking

Most websites now use SSL certificates to ensure that their sites aren’t restricted from search engine results.

  1. Earning User Trust

SSL certificates works to establish mutual trust between the website and its users by encrypting their sensitive data.

  1. Improved Website Performance

Simply by using the HTTPS communication protocol instead of HTTP, your website’s performance on search engines will be enhanced.

  1. Compliance with Regulatory Guidelines

SSL certificates have become one of the most essential requirements for a secure online industry due to the protection and security they provide for transactions.

What is the validity period of an SSL certificate?

The validity period of an SSL certificate is typically 13 months. In recent times, the duration of SSL certificate validity has been reduced, aiming to reduce security risks affecting websites and internet users.

In the event of an SSL certificate expiration, users visiting the website receive a warning that the site is no longer secure. The organization then replaces the old SSL certificate with a new one before it expires to prevent any potential security breaches.

How does an SSL certificate work?

Websites use an SSL certificate to initiate a secure connection through the following steps:

  1. The browser opens a website with SSL and connects to the web server.
  2. The user verifies the authenticity of the web server through identification information
  3. The website sends an SSL certificate containing a public key.
  4. The user verifies the SSL certificate, ensuring its validity and matching the website.
  5. The browser uses the public key to encrypt messages and send them, including a secret session key.
  6. The web server uses its private key to decrypt the message and retrieve the session key, then sends a recognition message to the browser.
  7. Now, both browsers and web servers can use the same session key to securely exchange information and messages.

Types of SSL Certificates:

Several SSL certificates have been issued with different levels of verification. It is essential to be aware of these types to choose the appropriate certificate for your website. SSL certificates are divided into six main types, which are:

  1. Extended Validation SSL Certificates (EV SSL)

One of the best and most expensive types of SSL certificates. They are used on high-level websites, displaying the SSL lock, company name, and HTTPS in the browser address bar to differentiate the site from potentially harmful ones.

  1. Domain Validation SSL Certificates (DV SSL)

Domain Validation certificates offer the least assurance and encryption, making them suitable for informational websites or blogs. They are the most cost-effective and quickest to obtain, requiring only verification through email or a phone call.

  1. Wildcard SSL Certificates

These certificates allow you to use wildcard characters to secure multiple unspecified subdomains and the primary domain all in one certificate. A wildcard SSL certificate includes an asterisk (*) as part of the common name.

  1. Unified Communications Certificate (UCC)

The UCC certificate is designed to secure live communication servers, allowing the website owner to secure multiple domain names with a single certificate. The validity and organization of a UCC certificate can be verified by displaying a lock on the browser.

  1. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MDC)

These certificates are used to protect numerous unique main domains and subdomains with different top-level domains (TLDs), excluding internal or local domains. For example: org, example.com.

  1. Organization Validated SSL Certificate (OV SSL)

This certificate shares a similar high level of assurance with the EV SSL certificate in completing a basic verification process. It encrypts sensitive user information during transactions and displays information about the website owner to differentiate it from potentially harmful sites.

How to obtain an SSL certificate?

You can obtain an SSL certificate through the following steps:

  1. Purchase a domain and register it on hosting websites.
  2. Go to platforms that offer SSL certificates and choose an annual plan.
  3. Request the SSL certificate signing (SCR).
  4. Afterwards, the hosting website team begins collaboration with the authentication review officer to review the request, issue the certificate, and then send it to your email.

The fundamental principles in SSL certificate technology

 

Allow web browsers to identify and establish an encrypted communication network using modern technology, which includes:

  • Encryption System: Involves scrambling the original message so that it can only be decrypted by the recipient.
  • Public Key: Encrypts information before sending it to the web server.
  • Private Key: The web server owns the private key, and the message can only be decrypted using both public and private keys together.
  • Digital Signature: The recipient creates a unique digital signature for the SSL certificate to ensure that external parties haven’t modified the certificate during its transfer to the website.
  • Authentication: The public key is sent to the browser to verify the SSL certificate from a trusted entity.

What are the contents of an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate includes information such as:

  1. Domain name.
  2. Issuer reference.
  3. Digital signature of the issuer.
  4. SSL version.
  5. Issue date.
  6. Expiry date.
  7. Public key.

How can I verify if a website has an SSL certificate or not?

The presence of an SSL certificate can be confirmed by checking the address bar in the browser, where you’ll find the following:

  1. If the URL starts with ‘HTTPS://’ instead of ‘HTTP://,’ it means the website is secure.
  2. Secure websites often display a green padlock symbol or address bars with security indicators.
  3. Browsers may show a warning if the site is insecure, often with an open or red lock symbol.

Conclusion

Now that we understand the importance of an SSL certificate for your website, it has become vital as the security certificate for your online presence. It ensures the protection and encryption of data and transactions between the website and the browser. You can now get in touch with My Host Zone and secure your website at an extraordinary cost.

FAQ

Q: How can I obtain SSL certificates for my website?

A: SSL certificates can be obtained from trusted authorities known as Certificate Authorities (CAs), which issue millions of SSL certificates annually.

Q: What is the validity period of an SSL certificate?

A: The validity period of an SSL certificate is typically 13 months, and it can be renewed after expiration.

Q: What are the types of SSL Certificates?

A: SSL certificates are divided into six main types, with the most important ones being the Extended Validation (EV) Certificate, Domain Validated (DV) Certificate, and Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificate.

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