Security certificates | Everything you need to know about SSL certificates
Imagine for a moment that every piece of information you send or receive on the Internet could be intercepted. Your emails, your credit card numbers, your passwords — everything can be exposed and used maliciously. It's a scary prospect, isn't it? Fortunately, there is a solution: SSL security certificates. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a digital data file that binds a cryptographic key to an organization's or individual's information. In other words, it creates a secure link between a web server and a browser, ensuring that all data transmitted between the two remains private and integral. But…
- How does it work exactly?
- Why is it so important to have an SSL certificate?
- How can you get one for your website?
Whether you are a simple Internet user, a business or a web professional, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to understand and use SSL certificates effectively.
What is an SSL certificate?
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a digital data file that binds a cryptographic key to an organization's or individual's information. Indeed, when you install it on a server, the SSL certificate activates the padlock and the "HTTPS" protocol in the browsers to ensure a secure connection between the web server and the browser. Therefore, when you enter your data, SSL will encrypt the information between your machine and the web server.
How does an SSL certificate work?
When a browser tries to connect to a website secured by SSL, the browser asks the web server to identify itself. Next, the web server then sends a copy of its SSL certificate to the browser. The browser then checks whether this certificate is reliable. If so, it sends a message to the web server. The server responds with a digitally signed acknowledgment to begin an SSL session. Finally, the data transmitted between the server and the browser will be secure and encrypted.
Why are SSL certificates important?
SSL certificates are essential for internet security. Indeed, they simultaneously protect the transmission of sensitive data. Among the data, we can mention:
- credit card numbers,
- emails, etc.
They don't just protect data. Truly, an SSL contributes to putting users in confidence in your website.
Guide for Internet users: how to check the SSL certificate of a website?
Verifying a website's SSL certificate is quite simple. Look for the padlock to the left of the URL in your browser's address bar. If you see a padlock, that means the site is using an SSL certificate. For more details, click on the padlock. You will notice on chrome browsers the mention non-secure website (if the site does not have SSL). It is important to use caution when entering your information on a website without SSL. Usually, when you enter your data on a site without SSL, there is no guarantee of security.
Guide for companies: why you need to have SSL security certificates on your websites?
As a business, an SSL certificate is essential for three main reasons:
- Data security : An SSL certificate ensures that your customers' sensitive data is transferred over a secure network. This helps protect your customers' information.
- Trust and Credibility : Visitors to your website are more likely to trust your site if they see that you have an SSL certificate.
- Better search engine positioning: Search engines like Google prioritize websites with SSL. Google has also started to add the mention non-secure on websites without SSL.
Where can I find SSL certificates?
There are many SSL certificate providers, such as:
- Comodo and DigiCert.
You can also get a free SSL certificate through Let's Encrypt, a non-profit automated certificate authority. Several web hosting service providers also offer security certificates. We will recommend you to do a Google search to compare prices and options. You can also contact us for assistance.
Types of SSL certificates
There are three main types of SSL certificates:
- Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates : These certificates offer a weak level of encryption. It is ideal for blogs or personal sites.
- Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates : These are preferred by corporate and public organization websites that want greater user trust.
- Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates : These offer the highest level of security and are used by large enterprises and financial institutions.
If you are a professional and need help installing an SSL certificate, Prositeweb can help you. We have a team of web security experts ready to help secure your website.
SSL certificates play a crucial role in securing data on the internet. Whether you are a simple Internet user, a business or a web professional, understanding the importance of SSL and knowing how to use it can go a long way towards a safer and more secure online experience.