SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.
It is also the certificates that enable websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. An SSL certificate is a data file hosted in a website’s ORIGIN SERVER. SSL certificates make SSl/Tsl enccryption possible, and they contain the website’s public key and the website’s identity, along with related information. Devices attempting to communicate with the origin server will reference this file to obtain the public key and verify the server’s identity. The private key is kept secret and secure.
TYPES OF SSL CERTIFICATE
Extended Validation (EV SSL) Certificates
With an EV SSL, the Certificate authority (CA) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name plus, it conducts a thorough vetting of the organization. The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines, as formally ratified by the CA Browser forum in 2007. All the steps required for a CA before issuing a certificate are specified here including:
- verifying the legal, physical and operational existence of the entity
- verifying that the identity of the entity matches official records
- verifying that the entity has exclusive right to use the domain specified in the EV SSL Certificate
- and verifying that the entity has properly authorized the issuance of the EV SSL Certificate
The latest, and possibly most significant, advancement in SSL technology since its initial inception follows the standardized Extended Validation guidelines. New high security browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 7+, Opera 9.5+, Firefox 3+, Google Chrome, Apple Safari 3.2+ and iPhone Safari 3.0+ identify Extended SSL Certificates and activate the browser interface security enhancements. For customers who wish to assert the highest levels of authenticity, this is the ideal solution.
EV SSL Certificates are available for all types of businesses, including government entities and both incorporated and unincorporated businesses. A second set of guidelines, the EV Audit Guidelines, specify the criteria under which a CA needs to be successfully audited before issuing EV SSL Certificates. The audits are repeated yearly to ensure the integrity of the issuance process.
Organization Validated (OV SSL) Certificates
The CA checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts some vetting of the organization. Additional vetted company information is displayed to customers when clicking on the Secure Site Seal, giving enhanced visibility in who is behind the site and associated enhanced trust. Organization name also appears in the certificate under the ON field.
Domain Validated (DV SSL) Certificates
The CA checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name. No company identity information is vetted and no information is displayed other than encryption information within the Secure Site Seal. While you can be sure that your information is encrypted, you cannot be sure who is truly at the receiving end of that information.
DV SSL Certificates are fully supported and share the same browser recognition with OV SSL, but come with the advantage of being issued almost immediately and without the need to submit company paperwork. This makes DV SSL ideal for businesses needing a low cost SSL quickly and without the effort of submitting company documents.
HOW DOES SSL CERTIFICATE OPERATE
This particular kind of cryptography harnesses the power of two keys which are long strings of randomly generated numbers. One is called a private key and one is called a public key. A public key is known to your server and available in the public domain. It can be used to encrypt any message. If Alice is sending a message to Bob she will lock it with Bob’s public key but the only way it can be decrypted is to unlock it with Bob’s private key. Bob is the only one who has his private key so Bob is the only one who can use this to unlock Alice’s message. If a hacker intercepts the message before Bob unlocks it, all they will get is a cryptographic code that they cannot break, even with the power of a computer.
WHY YOU NEED SSL CERTIFICATE
Why You Need An SSL Certificate
SSL Certificates protect your sensitive information such as credit card information, usernames, passwords etc. They also:
- Keep data secure between servers
- Increase your Google Rankings
- Build/Enhance customer trust
- Improve conversion rates
How To Get Free Ssl Certificate
Cloudflare offers free ssl/tsl encryption and was the first company to do so, in 2014. The free version of SSL shares SSL certificates among multiple customer domains. Cloudflare also offers customized SSL certificates for enterprise customers.
To get a free SSL certificate, domain owners need to sign up for Cloudflare and select an SSL option in their SSL settings.
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