What Is An SSL Certificate? The Semalt Answer
Digital certificates, much more commonly known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates, are used to help establish an encrypted connection between the user's computer and browser and a website or server.
The protection of confidential data is ensured by the SSL connection. Important confidential data includes credit card information. Such information is exchanged during each visit. SSL certificates prevent its interception by unauthorized persons.
In short: SSL certificates help to secure Internet connections. Thus, criminals are no longer able to read or modify information shared between two systems. The presence of a lock icon next to the URL in the address bar simply means that there is an SSL certificate that ensures the protection of the visited website.
In fact, since its creation, there have been several versions of the SSL protocol. This is due to the many security problems encountered over time. This is the main reason why we present you with everything you need to know about how an SSL certificate works. We are also available to help you install the best SSL certificate for your needs.
How do SSL certificates work?
HTTPS is a secure data transfer protocol that supports TLS / SSL encryption technology.
The standard HTTP protocol transfers data in plain text. Attackers can "stall" the transmission - modify or intercept data. In HTTPS, a secure channel is created for data transmission. Here's how it works:
Nancy wants to go to the Semalt site, protected by an SSL certificate:
- Nancy's browser sends a request to the site.
- The site sends a copy of the certificate in response.
- The browser checks the authenticity of the certificate - it checks it with the certificate authority that issued it.
- If the certificate is not fake, the site and the browser secretly agree on a secret symmetric key.
Using this key, the browser and the website establish a secure HTTPS connection. The key encrypts data - fraudsters cannot access Nancy's passwords and credit card numbers.
HTTPS is used where data protection is most important - in payment systems and contact forms. Since early 2017, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have flagged HTTP sites with data entry forms as untrustworthy.
Why do you need an SSL certificate?
Many think that the presence of such a certificate is a matter of the company's status on the Internet, but let's not forget that it is also the fact that the resource meets the requirements of current browsers. Of course, the selection of a certificate can not be considered the most serious step to work on an Internet resource, but you should understand that it is very important to ensure the proper security of your business.
For users, an SSL certificate is a kind of "identity" of the site, which confirms its security. Users understand that on a secure resource they can buy, register, enter passwords, etc.
SSL certificates are most often used in online stores and sites where the function of ordering services is provided and the customer can enter any personal information. The use of HTTPS protocol is necessary to prevent the interception of personal data and to encrypt them in the desired form.
The site certificate contains data of the following type:
- the full name of the owner (unique for each organization);
- a public key (also unique for each organization);
- the issue date and the expiration date;
- the name of the certification authority that issued the certificate;
- the digital signature.
Site owners most often choose a security certificate based on its value and the brand under which it is issued. But there are other characteristics that can influence the search for a solution, and they deserve to be examined in more detail. This is the main reason why Semalt offers its certificate installation service.
Types of SSL Certificates
There are different types of SSL certificates with different levels of validation. Here are the six main types:
Essential SSL is the cheapest and fastest issued certificate, available for legal entities and individuals. Only the ownership of the domain name is verified, personal information or company registration are not verified. It is issued for 1 domain.
Instant SSL is also available for individuals and legal entities. Domain ownership, company registration data or individual identity are verified. Issued for 1 domain.
SGC SSL Certificate
SGC SSL Certificate - similar to Instant SSL, but with support for 40-bit extensions (relevant for older operating systems and browsers). Issued for 1 domain, or wildcard.
Normal wildcard - the same as a regular certificate, but it is issued not only for 1 domain but for all subdomains of the root domain.
EV (Extended Validation) Certificate or extended verification certificate is available only for legal entities. Ownership of the domain is verified, translation of the company's notarized documents into English is required, as well as third party confirmation of the data.
This type of certificate allows you to install proof of ownership on the site and is displayed in browsers as a guarantee of trust (in green), compared to yellow for ordinary certificates. It costs 2-3 times more than usual, and registration takes a long time.
Extended validation - for sites related to finance, services (Internet banking, payment systems, online stores, etc.).
Through all this information about the types of SSL certificates, if you still don't know which one would be suitable for your website; our certificate installation service is available to help you choose the right one for you.
How does Semalt's certificate installation service benefit you?
There are many benefits to using Semalt's certificate installation service. Some of them include the following:
You get a consultation service
Semalt's certificate installation service helps you identify the real needs of your business. Then, you will be guided through the selection and purchase of a suitable SSL certificate.
Quick installation of your SSL certificate
At Semalt, we have several web developers who will help you install an SSL certificate on your website in record time.
On top of that, we have SEO specialists to proceed with its configuration. These specialists are qualified to set up redirects while ensuring the indexicality of your pages.
Moreover, if your site encounters other problems related to its structure or its positioning on search engines, our experts will provide you with a complete report on its status and the actions to be considered. We also have an all-in-one SEO tool called the SEO Personal Dashboard that will help you better promote your site.
You get free maintenance service
Once your SSL certificate is installed by our services, you can ask us for consultations and technical support during the validity period of the certificate.
We are ready to help you solve any problems related to the proper functioning of your website.
Can one SSL certificate be used on multiple servers?
It is possible that for several domains, only one SSL certificate is used on the same server. Depending on the provider, one SSL Certificate can be used on multiple servers. All this is possible with multi-domain SSL certificates. Thus, we can differentiate between the following:
- Certificate for a domain (Single Certificate) - works for a domain name specified in the order. This means that, for example, the domain yourcompany.com, for which the certificate was purchased, will be protected, but the subdomains used (under.yourcompany.com), if any, will not.
- Wildcard SSL - can be used for the domain specified during registration and all its subdomains (sub1.yourcompany.com, sub2.yourcompany.com, sub3.yourcompany.com). Wildcard also supports the operation of the website on distributed servers.
- Unified Communications (UC) or Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificates can be used for multiple domains and servers at once.
If you are unsure which of these SSL certificates will be most beneficial to your current business, you can rely on our certificate installation service.
Cybersecurity risks continue to grow, but understanding the types of SSL certificates to look for and how to distinguish a secure site from a potentially dangerous one will help Internet users avoid scams and protect their personal data from cybercriminals.
Therefore, it is important for the security of your site and for the security of your visitors' data to install an SSL certificate. If this is your current concern, you don't have to worry about it anymore. Indeed, Semalt's certificate installation service is at your disposal to help you install the most suitable certificate for your website's needs.
By referring to this service offered by Semalt, you also have the opportunity to benefit from several other factors such as:
- A consultation service.
- The fast installation of your SSL certificate.
- A free maintenance service.
Beyond installing an SSL certificate to secure your site, do you have difficulties positioning your site in the first position on search engines or promoting your activity efficiently on the net? Our experts are at your disposal to help you reach your goals whatever they are in a short period of time.
For more information, you can leave us a message in the comments. You can also visit our blog or contact us directly.