With the increase in the penetration and usage of internet, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are quickly becoming the norm online as more business presence on the web. The Internet of Things has even transformed the way businesses and consumers think about security. Its clear that when you build a website for your e-commerce site, security is paramount to protect your business and data from unauthorized access.
Today, defending your business online is becoming more challenging. It’s hard to know where to begin, but one thing every business can do to protect their clients is to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.
What Is an SSL Certificate?
SSL is a technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that information passed between the web server and browser remain private and that the content provided originates from a verified sender. In other words, when you interact with a favorite online retailer, like Amazon, or a payment processor, like PayPal, you can be confident that you are dealing with that company and not an impostor.
How Can Clients Tell if a Website is SSL Certified?
Here are some obvious signs that a page is using SSL certification.
- The address bar will have a green background color to indicate a higher level of security vetting, called Extended Validation. Some addresses include the name of the SSL authentication service.
- A tiny padlock appears on the left-hand side of the browser bar. If there isn’t a padlock, or the symbol is “broken,” visitors will know that the company isn’t using SSL. If you want to know more about the type of certificate attached to a webpage, click on the tiny lock and a pop up will appear that provides information about the company associated with the website.
- You’ll find an SSL image, typically at the bottom of the webpage. Custom images are available, but most contain a padlock, “SSL” or “Security,” and other information that indicates a certificate.
- The URL starts with “https” to indicate that you are connected through a secure server. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http) is a system for transmitting data on the web, and the “s” at the end is the security indicator. Http was the standard before websites started transmitting confidential information (such as credit card data).
How it works
Secure access to data is ensured with the help of certificates issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) which is shared only with the specific domain or server. The exchange of data happens after the certificate verification and thus passes through an SSL connection privately and securely.
The basic working model of an SSL transaction is depicted below.
- The client requests server identification from the web server.
- The server sends the SSL certificate issued by the CA to the client.
- The client receives the certificate copy and sends an acknowledgment. The received certificate is verified and the resulting message is sent back to the server.
- The server sends a digital signature to the client once it receives the verification acknowledgment and initiates the encrypted information exchange between the client and the server.
Advantages of SSL Certification
At the very minimum every client expect their information to be protected when interracting with your business online. Displaying SSL certification symbols depicts the seriousness with which an entity is concerned about identity theft and online security. The following are some of the benefits
1) SSL is important for credibility: One of the main tasks of SSL certificate is to provide authentication to a website. Identity verification is one of the most important aspects as far as web security is concerned..
2) Data Integrity: The primary reason why SSL is used is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can access it.
3) Better Search Engine Ranking (Google): SSL certification is one of the parameters considered for Google SEO effective since 2014.
4) Build Trust with your Audience: These days, many people don’t feel comfortable about making a purchase from a site without an SSL certificate, and for good reason.
5) SSL is required for PCI Compliance: In order to accept credit card information on your website, you must pass certain audits that show that you are complying with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
Disadvantages of SSL Certification
On the downside, you will have to incur an additional expense. SSL providers need to set up a trusted infrastructure and validate your identity so there is a cost involved. However, this has been greatly been reduced by increased competition in the industry and the introduction of providers like Let’s Encrypt.
Where do I start?
Fortunately, getting an SSL certificate for your website isn’t complicated. Neither is setting it up. Your host company should provide with ease. If you are thinking of starting a website or acquiring ssl then get started here. Once you do that, your website will enjoy a host of benefits, and visitors will know they can trust your site to keep their data secure.
SSL certificates tell the world that your website is the real deal, and not a phishing attempt. Using HTTPS can also protect your users’ data and inspire trust, both of which are key concerns for any website. The good news is that getting an SSL certificate is downright simple these days.