SSL Certificate explained in detail
SSL certificates, short for Secure Socket Layer, were first developed by Netscape to secure online transactions between the server and the client. It is a digital file that is used by a web server to encrypt data in transit between the Server and the Client.
What does it do?
Basically, the SSL certificates encrypt your data into unreadable form so that nobody can steal the data during the transmission. For example, your password ‘abcdefgh’ could become ‘98526971’. This helps prevent data theft from any 3rd party during the data transport. SSL certificates are very useful when it comes to protecting very important information such as banking details, login credentials, personal details and other confidential information.
Who issues it?
SSL certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). In this model, the CA is the trustworthy third party that will authenticate both ends of the transaction. An SSL certificate binds together a domain name, host name and server name along with the organizational identity and location.
Organizations that intend to secure their websites with SSL certificates need to install these digital certificates onto their web servers. This helps them secure their online sessions with web browsers. Depending on the type of SSL certificate chosen, an organization will need to go through various levels of validation.
After installing an SSL certificate successfully, a website connection with an “https://” URL is established, which leads the web server to establish a secure connection with the web browser. Browsers then inform visitors that the website is SSL-Secured, with the help of several visible trust indicators, depending upon the type of SSL certificate:
SSL Certificate comes up with 3 common types as
- Domain validation – Here only the domain ownership is required to be validated by the certificate authority (CA). It is an entry-level certificate for smaller organizations.
- Organization Validation – This is a medium-level certificate intended for medium-level organizations. Here, the domain ownership, as well as business, needs to be validated by the certificate authority (CA).
- Extended Validation – Caters the highest level of encryption and trust, this certificate is used by large organizations, e-commerce businesses, social networks, banking & government sectors.
If a website has an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate, you can see the URL of the website displayed in the following manner on a trusted web-browser:
Website with an EV SSL certificate:
If the website has a Domain Validated SSL:
Benefits of SSL Certificate
- Eliminates risk of phishing and other cyber-attacks
- Secure communication between browser and server
- Protects user’s sensitive information
- Allows users to make transactions without any risk of data theft
- Builds trust in the mind of the customer and improves his/her confidence
- Eliminates browser warning and alerts
- Boosts up website traffic and helps generate more business
- Increases Organization’s reputation on the Internet
- Ranking benefits given by Google to SSL enabled websites
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