What Is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL(Secure Socked Layer) Certificate helps consumers and businesses be more confident and responsible when submitting personal details over a website.
If you sell something online and you process credit card information or other confidential information, you have to use SSL encryption for the data exchange between a client on your website and the server hosting your site.
Data sent via an SSL connection is protected by encryption (128 or 256-bit key), that prevents eavesdropping and tampering with the transmitted information.
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How SSL Works?
How SSL works? Any data transmitted between the browser and your website is encrypted before being sent and then decrypted after having being received using the 128 or 256 bit key issued especially for you.
An SSL certificate is issued by a trusted authority like RapidSSL or GeoTrust and installed specifically for a single hostname of your web site (e.g. https://secure.domain.com) where you need an encrypted connection. In that way all the data transmitted between the hostname where your client is submitting personal details and the server (where you web site resides) is encrypted and signed as secured by this trusted SSL issuer.
What is a Wildcard SSL?
Ordinarily, when an SSL certificate is issued it is signed to secure a single subdomain of your domain (e.g. secure.domain.com.) Some website owners, however, need more than one subdomain to be secured with an SSL certificate. In this case they have to buy a separate SSL certificate for each subdomain.
What is a Wildcard SSL? It’s a type of SSL that allows securing multiple hostnames of a single domain name on a single server. This is how you can conveniently use one SSL certificate (Wildcard) for all subdomains (*.domain.com). The drawback with a Wildcard certificate is its price, several times exceeding the price of a regular SSL certificate. The advantage of this type of certificate is the fact you have to install and later on maintain only a single SSL certificate. Wildcard SSL certificates are appropriate for large organizations or e-commerce web sites.
Do I Need an SSL for my Website?
Having an SSL certificate is a must for you if:
- You operate an online store.
- Accept credit card or other payments.
- Offer online services where subscribers go over a signup process.
- Your website supports account login.
- When other private data is transmitted over the Internet.
Having an SSL Certificate on your website greatly increases the trust in your brand and is a positive sign to visitors and customers. Most online users can easily identify that you have SSL encryption on your website by the URL they see in their browser. It should say https:// or show an active padlock in the address bar or at the bottom right corner of the window.
What is the purpose of SSL and why is it needed?
The Internet went to world wide commercialization in the early 90’s. Since then it has become an integral part of everyday life for billions of people.
Today, many years after the initial steps of the first Internet users, most people know to be cautious when browsing, shopping online or using online services. Most people submitting private details online are looking for a valid and active padlock in the address bar or at the bottom of their browser. Additionally, they check for the https:// in the address bar. If you’re wondering “Do I need SSL certificate for my website?“, you probably do.
Otherwise, you risk visitors leaving it without making a purchase or even signing up for a free service. Today’s users are very security-conscious and they are right to fear submitting payment or personal details over a website that is not secured.
The purpose of SSL is to keep the trust of your users and online buyers. Better security means more sales and better business in general.