What is an SSL certificate and what is useful for?
Do you have a website and want to secure it? An SSL certificate may be the right choice. But what exactly do these acronyms mean and how do they affect the security of your SME's website? Find out here!
The theft, loss or fraudulent manipulation of information are cybersecurity risks that users fear when browsing or carrying out transactions on the Internet. It is therefore important that websites are protected. To ensure the security of a website, it is necessary to implement security mechanisms such as, for example, SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital certificates. This type of certificate is a basic security measure that lets visitors to your website know that they are on a secure site and that their connection is encrypted.
What is an SSL certificate?
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is an encryption protocol that uses digital certificates to establish secure communications. This protocol encrypts the communication between the sender and receiver while the transfer of information is still in transit. This means that, if someone were to intercept the communication of your SSL-certified website, it would be unreadable.
In other words, an SSL certificate is a digital document that corroborates the identity of your website and encrypts the information that visitors send from their computer to your site, and vice versa.
How does an SSL certificate work?
The operation of this type of certificate is quite unobtrusive and is performed in the background without interrupting the user's browsing experience. In general terms, it works as follows:
The visitor's browser connects to the website.
- The browser asks the server to confirm the identity of the website.
- The server sends the website's certificate to the browser, so that the browser can verify that the SSL is valid.
Once the server verifies the validity of this information, it initiates a secure browsing session.
To find out if a website has an SSL certificate, you can check if it has the padlock icon in the browser's status bar, the HTTPS prefix in the URL or the trust seal of the company that issued the certificate.
Why is an SSL certificate necessary?
Implementing an SSL certificate can be beneficial for any company owning a website. Here are some of the advantages of having one.
- Protects information: the SSL protocol guarantees the encryption of all communications that occur when a user's browser connects to your company's website.
- Guarantees the identity of the website: each certificate is issued for a specific domain.
- Guarantees the integrity of the information: in the event of a loss of information exchanged between client and server, it can be quickly identified and discarded.
People browsing your website will feel safer while reading about your services, watching videos or subscribing to your newsletter or newsletter if your website has an SSL certificate.
Additionally, any website that does not have an SSL certificate will have limited exposure, since Google's algorithm does not show websites that do not have a valid SSL in the search results.
SSL Certificate Types
There are several types of SSL certificates available. However, it is important to note that all SSL certificates offer the same level of encryption. Where they differ is in the level of verification the company undergoes to obtain the certificate. These are the certificate types:
- Extended Validation (EV) SSL: obtained through an international certificate management and security certification. To obtain it, the identity of your company, its legal status and domain ownership must be verified.
- Domain SSL (DV): it is easier to obtain because you only need to prove that you are the owner of the domain.
- Organization Validation (OV) SSL: requires less verification than an EV, but still assures customers that your company is a legitimate legal entity and that you are the owner of your domain.
Where can I get an SSL Certificate?
Obtaining an SSL certificate is not difficult, you just need to select the right certificate and provider for your website. You can do it through the following ways.
- With Certification Authorities (CA).
- With the help of a hosting provider that will help you choose and integrate your SSL certificate through a CA, as well as configure the HTTPS protocol on your site.
- Create a Google website that offers free security.
- Use free tools such as Cloudflare or sslforfree.com.
Having an active and up-to-date SSL certificate on your website is key to transmitting trust and security to your customers. Remember that the choice of certificate type will depend on the needs of each company, but that they all offer the same level of encryption.