SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. An SSL Certificate is a digital certificate that provides a method to encrypt data as it travels across the internet to protect sensitive information from being assumed for malicious purposes. To identify a website that has an SSL Certificate, the URL in the address bar will begin with HTTPS, instead of HTTP.
Any website that deal with sensitive information, transfers or stores sensitive data like IDs and birth certificates, process financial information (online transactions, bank accounts), operate any kind of legal information, contains any kind of legal documents and confidential information need an SSL Certificate.
Where to get an SSL Certificate
You get an SSL Certificate from any trusted vendor or most hosting providers who are in a position to issue an SSL Certificate either for free for a start up as they allow you ample time to later decide and purchase for a paid SSL Certificate basing on your immediate website needs. SSL providers are important because they only issue an SSL Certificate to a verified company that has gone through several identity check.
To get an SSL Certificate, the SSL issuing authority need to identify and verify your business first. With this you have to present the WHOIS record which proves that for a particular domain that you get a certificate for you are the legal owner and are authorized to order for the certificate. You are also required to generate a certificate signing request with your domain name, business name and location inclusive to be used to create an SSL Certificate for you.
The purpose of using an SSL Certificate
SSL provide a trusted environment
To make sure that visitors know when the site is secure, a website with an SSL Certificate has a lock icon or a green bar to indicate that it is a secured site. Some of the SSL providers provide a trust seal to instill more trust to your customers.
SSL provide Authentication
Users can send information via the internet using different computers. Some of these computers may pretend to be your website and trick user into sending their personal information. SSL provide authentication to ensure that users are providing information to the right server. The three many authentication types are: domain validation, organization validation and extended validation.
SSL provide Encryption
The information you send is sent from computer to computer before it can get to the destination server. If the information is not encrypted with an SSL certificate, any sensitive information can be seen and accessed by any computer between you and the server. An SSL Certificate encrypts sensitive information sent across the internet so that only the intended receipts can access it. Most SSL Certificate come with 256-encryption. One of the important requirements to show that you are complying with the payment card industry standards is having an SSL Certificate for your website. With this you are in a position to accept any credit card information in your website.
SSL Certificates are not the same, they vary with the nature of protection they provide and the domain they secure like based on single domains, multiple domains and sub-domains.
SSL Certificates adhere to the same safety standards and encryption protocols and provide the same SEO boost migration from HTTP to HTTPS in the URL.
Secure your site with an SSL Certificate from a trusted SSL provider.