What is SSL Certificate? [Beginner’s Guide]

It is important for visitors to feel confident about their security when a website asks for personal information or payment credentials. SSL Certificate builds that trust by providing a secure connection. To tell whether it’s a secure website, the browser shows special EV indicators like padlocks, branded URLs, etc.

I am sure, you have noticed that some URLs begin with https://, while others only contain http://.

You may have noticed while paying bills or doing some online business.

Why the extra “s” is here and what is its importance?

With a simple answer, extra “s” stands for secure and shows that the connection between the user and website is encrypted and safe. When you enter sensitive data, it will be safely transferred to the website. The technology powering the “s” is called SSL (Secure Sockets Layers).

You always desire to see https:// at the start of URL whom you trust with essential information as a consumer. you’ll need to provide an SSL Certificate as a marketer.

Let’s discuss what is SSL and why you should get it.

What are SSL certificates and their significance?

Data files that construct cryptographically an encrypted link between the browser and web server are SSL certificates. The link ensures that the information passed is completely secured.

If a website doesn’t have an SSL certificate and you entered your information in given fields, it may be possible that a hacker can intercept the data. The information can be personal or bank transaction details. The interception by a hacker is referred to as a “Man in the middle attack”.

Thinking about how hacker attacks? There are many attack ways but one of the most practiced ways is: The attacker deploys an undetected listening virus on the website hosting server. The program waits until the visitor enters the information and captures all data, then share it with the hacker.

It isn’t terrifying?

But if the website is encrypted with SSL, then the browser establishes a secure connection with the server. Your typed information only can be accessed by the website. Even a visitor can have a fast experience with SSL rather than websites at risk.

SSL security technology is a protocol for web browsers and servers that ensure the privacy of data passed between both of them. This all is done through a private link.

The organizations that require consumer details like payment or email information should get SSL for their websites. So, the data can be secured and you can look at the indicators such as padlock or https:// to guarantee your safety.

Furthermore, the SSL certificates are categorized based on encryption and validation provided or the number of domains under certificates.

Is SSL is good for SEO?

This is a question that arises in the mind of every website owner. Yes, SSL is good for SEO. It is a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm. This means the website’s content with SSL encrypted will get a slight rank boost. SSL adds an SEO benefit if it is encrypted with the website and its pages.

How can I check if a website has SSL?

Within the browser, you can identify whether a website has an SSL certificate or not in different ways.

By looking at the URL

If the website has SSL encryption, there will “s” next to HTTP in the URL bar. Additionally, the https:// can be in green color or there will be a green padlock to make sure it is secure.

The padlock icon in the URL bar

Depending on the browser, the padlock will appear on the right or left side of the URL bar. On google chrome, it is on the left side. You can click on the padlock and obtain more information such as which company provided the certificate.

Check the certificate is valid

Certificate validation checking is important. If an https:// and padlock exist, the certificate still could be expired. That means, your information is at risk. Mostly this doesn’t happen at all. But if a website is asking for too much information then it is not bad to double-check the SSL certificate to remove the risk.

To identify whether the certificate is valid or not in chrome then move to “view” then select “Developer” and after “Developer Tools”. Navigate to the Security tab and it will tell you to whether the SSL certificate is expired or valid. If you click on the View certificate button, it will lead you to the specific certificate information and valid through date.

How I can get an SSL certificate for the website?

As a beginner, you need to find out what type of certificate you require. If you’re hosting content on multiple domains or subdomains, then you need separate SSL certificates.

A standard SSL encryption can be enough for your content. But, if you’re running an organization based on financial activities, then consult with the IT team to get a specific problem-solving SSL certificate.

Costs of SSL are distinct to concerning features, but you can also obtain a free SSL certificate or purchase on monthly billing. Let’s Encrypt provides a free SSL certificate but it is not recommended.

You can select a custom certificate from SSLs after consulting with someone knowledgeable about DNS and the technical setup of the website. Price vary according to website or business specification. The lowest price for personal is $3.77/year with limited features and the highest is $120.88 including everything.

These certificates expire after 90 days so confirm they are up-to-date. The key consideration for certificates is the available time period. Most of the SSL certificates remain for 1 to 2 years, so if you need more time consider advanced certificates.

Whenever you visit any website, try to check its SSL certificate to confirm that you’re at a safe place. On the other hand, if you are running any website without security, make SSL a part of your goal set to secure consumer privacy and data.

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