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Choosing the right SSL certificate: How To Nail It

Any organization that collects and stores data about individuals needs to be aware of the current governance on how their websites should collect, store, process, and protect user data. 

In this article, we will go through what SSL certificates are available in order for you to make an informed decision when choosing which certificate(s) your website must have installed.

Why SSL is important?

SSL encryption is important because it ensures that information transmitted between a web browser and a web server remains private. 

These SSL certificates also authenticate a website’s identity, which helps to prevent phishing attacks.

By the way, SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape in the 1990s for transmitting private documents over the internet. SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data − a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient. 

When information is encrypted with the public key, it can only be decrypted with the private key. This prevents third parties from intercepting and reading sensitive data such as credit card numbers and login credentials. 

And in fact, SSL is used by millions of websites to protect online transactions and logins. 

The certificate authority (CA) is the agency that issues certificates to websites for identity validation. The CA has its own private key, which it uses to encrypt and digitally sign certificates. 

You also need an SSL to get a chance of ranking higher in Search Engine Results Pages. 

See, SSL is a wall between the visitor and your server that encrypts all traffic, protecting visitors from attacks and data theft. The more secure things are, the higher ranking you get in Google search results.

Types of SSL certificates 

There are three main types of SSL certificates: Domain Validation (DV), Organization Validated (OV), and Extended Validation (EV). 

a). Domain Validation (DV)

Domain Validated certificates are the most basic type of SSL certificate. They only verify that you own the domain name. 

These are typically the cheapest SSL certificates, but they offer the least amount of trust to visitors. 

DV certificates are perfect for personal websites, blogs, and small businesses.  

b).  Organization Validated (OV)

Organization Validated certificates provide more trust than DV because they not only verify you own the domain name, but also that your organization is legitimate. 

This verification is done through a vetting process by the Certificate Authority (CA). 

OV certificates are perfect for medium to large businesses, or organizations that need the added assurance that their business is who it says it is. 

They are also popular with eCommerce sites because they enable customers to trust your business and provide a higher level of security. 

c). Extended Validation (EV)

Another type of SSL certificate is EV. 

Extended Validation certificates offer the highest level of trust because they go through an even more rigorous vetting process. 

EV certs not only verify your organization but also ensure that your company is legitimate and verified by a third party. 

These types of SSLs are recommended for all eCommerce sites, banks, and other businesses that need the highest level of trust.

Other types of SSL include:

  • Wildcard SSL Certificates: A Wildcard SSL certificate secures your domain name and an unlimited number of its subdomains. 
  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MDC or SAN certificates): An MDC/SAN Certificate, also known as a Unified Communications Certificate (UCC), is an SSL certificate that can secure multiple domains and subdomains with one certificate.
  • Single Domain SSL Certificates: A Single Domain Certificate secures a single fully qualified domain name. 
  • Code Signing Certificates: Code signing certificates are used to digitally sign apps, drivers, and software programs to verify the identity of the author/publisher and ensure that the code has not been altered or corrupted since it was signed.

How to choose the right certificate 

When it comes to choosing an SSL certificate for your website, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, you need to decide which level of validation you need. As we’ve already seen, there are three levels of validation: domain validation, organization validation, and extended validation. 

Domain validation is the simplest and most common type of SSL certificate. It verifies that you own the domain name and that the domain name has a valid DNS record. 

Organization validation is more comprehensive and requires that you provide proof of your organization’s identity. Extended validation is the most rigorous type of SSL certificate and requires that your organization undergo a thorough vetting process.

Once you’ve decided which level of validation you need, you’ll need to choose a certificate provider. There are many reputable providers out there, so take some time to research your options and compare prices. 

In brief

When it comes to choosing the right SSL certificate for your website, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. 

First, consider the level of security you need and the budget you have. There are different types of SSL certificates with varying levels of security, so make sure you choose one that meets your needs. 

Second, think about how easy it will be to install and manage the certificate. Some certificates require more technical knowledge than others, so be sure to choose one that you’re comfortable with. 

Most importantly, consider the warranty and support that comes with the certificate. Some companies offer better warranties and support than others, so be sure to read the fine print before making your purchase. 

Always keep these factors in mind to choose the right SSL certificate for your website. 

Check our SSL prices here.


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