Frequently, when planning to open an online store, the future owner asks himself a question: “how safe should the product be in order to be trusted by potential customers and how to reach that safety rate?” The question is pretty sensible, since we are talking about private data on our clients and their bank cards. That is why the issue of purchasing the SSL certificate should be of paramount importance for the owner of the commercial web project. Besides, it is essential to study the reviews on hosting companies providing that kind of certificate.
SSL certificates – are small sets of data that link the digital cryptographic key with company details. The letters SSL stand for Secure Socket Layer – the level of sockets secured. When installed on a web server it activates the lock and the HTTPS protocol (port #443) and enables secure connection of the web server to a browser. This procedure eliminates such issues as illegal information capturing, data and messages distortion.
Normally, SSL certificates are being used to secure data during operations with credit cards and data transmission (including logins and passwords), currently SSL are also being used for secure surfing of social networks pages.
SSL certificates unite:
- Domain name, server or host name;
- Company ID (i.e. its name) and location.
After the secure connection has been established, all web traffic between the server and the customer browser is secured, and the customer can be certain that the information he types is safe and will only be seen by the company owning the website.
In the browser window user can see how safe the website visited is safe. The use of SSL certificate is usually marked by the image of lock in the browser; it also can be highlighted with green color in the address bar.
How does SSL certificate work?
In order to switch on SSL on the website and initiate secured connections with the customers’ browsers, a company should install the SSL certificate on their website. Depending on the type of SSL certificate used, there are several checking steps to undergo. After the SSL certificate has been installed the customers are able to enter the company website and the certificate will suggest establishing secured connection with the browser. SSL certificates are being provided by special certification centers.
How do SSL certificates provide the security of data?
Secure data transferring is being provided by the use of two technologies interacting with each other:
Encryption technology – the information becomes unreadable for all but the one which is this information for;
Authentication technology – as mentioned above, the digital certificate communicates a particular internet domain, and then the special certification center verifies the certificate and signs it.
What are certification centers?
A certification center is a subject of the right, which issues digital certificates to companies or people after the authentication. Certification entities record in detail what certificate was issued and what information was used for the issue, those records are being monitored regularly to make sure centers carry out the procedure correctly. Each certification entity hands in certification practice statements which define the procedures used for statements authentication.
How many domain names can be secured by one SSL certificate?
Most server SSL certificates only secure one domain or subdomain name. For instance, a certificate can secure www.yourdomain.com or main.yourdomain.com but not both of them. If you need to secure several subdomains of one domain name, you can purchase special group certificate.
SSL certificates differ by:
Times of re-issue,
Warranties for customers,
Free self-signed SSL certificates:
There are free, the so-called self-signed SSL certificate, you can generate this kind of certificate on the web server. Usually all popular hosting control panels provide this opportunity and there is nothing complicated in the procedure.
Such certificates are only suitable for the inner use in an organization since with the connection a browser sends a message about the unchecked certificate and possible fraud. Needless to say, this is inappropriate type of certificates for commercial websites where products or services are being sold as well as for official websites.
Certificates issued by the certification centers
There are several types of SSL certificates varying by their properties, validation levels, collection procedures and prices.
Certificates with various validation levels:
Certificates with domain validation (DV) are the easiest and quickest to be issued since they only confirm that the domain name mentioned truly belongs to the organization given (it has the right to use it). No other data is being checked, data on the organization is not reflected in the certificate.
Certificates validating the domain and the organization (Organization Validation — OV). Issuing period is a bit longer, and there are more checks since the certification center validates if the company exists in state registers, makes a call to validate the company and sometimes requests particular letters of guarantee. Aside from the domain name the certificate will contain the name of the organization; these certificates are not being issued for individuals.
Extended validation (EV) certificates are those highlighted with green and the company name in the address bar of a browser when someone enters such website. Such certificate is more difficult to get, but this is the most reliable type since the certification center carries out the most scrutinous tests of data on the organization and its performance. Issuing period may take up to two weeks and this type is the most expensive from all of the above mentioned.
SSL certificates varying by properties
Essential certificates (Essential SSL) are those being issued automatically and corresponding to DV certificates, thus only validate the domain name and are being issued for a single domain;
Instant SSL has the same properties but data on the company or an individual is being checked along with the right to possess the domain;
Server-gated cryptography certificates are similar to Instant SSL, and useful for organization with old versions of hardware and with old browsers only supporting little cryptography;
WildCard is a group certificate being applied when data security is needed on all subdomains in one major domain (usually when there are more than 10 subdomains);
Subject Alternative Name certificate is also a group one but, unlike the previous type, this one is being used for several different domains hosted on the same server (usually this certificate is being issued for the number of domains divisible by five, and the number of them can be increased gradually);
Extended Validation certificate is the same with the extended checks on multiple levels and the green bar in the browser. Not issued for individuals.
How to choose the appropriate SSL certificate?
How to choose the SSL certificate for your business which is optimal in terms of price, properties, capabilities, and the security level?
In order to do that you should analyze tasks your website (or websites) should accomplish. First, will it be used to communicate with customers? If this is just a private page or the external company resources, the self-signed free certificate should suffice to it. If this is a business website, especially if one can make payments on your website, then you need higher security and certain guarantees for customers. For instance, internet banking pages cannot do without the Extended Validation certificate.
You also need to count your domains and subdomains and decide on whether you need the group certificate or you can do with separate SSL certificates for each domain (when there are 2-5 domains, separate certificates are cheaper even though the group one is easier to manage).
Undoubtedly, the SSL certificate is necessary for an online store so that the customers are certain about the security of their data. However, even for those websites not connected with e-commerce the SSL certificate is a good practice.
Best SSL Certificate Providers List:
|SSL2Buy||AlphaSSL Wildcard SSL Certificate, Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard, RapidSSL Wildcard, Comodo Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL, Comodo EssentialSSL Wildcard, Thawte Wildcard SSL, GlobalSign Wildcard SSL – Domain Validation, Comodo PremiumSSL Wildcard, GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard, GlobalSign Wildcard SSL – Organization Validation||$38.00 - $500.00|
|NameCheap||EssentialSSL Wildcard, Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard, PremiumSSL Wildcard||$99.90 - $169.0|
|RapidSSL Online||GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard, Thawte Wildcard SSL, Symantec Wildcard SSL, RapidSSL Wildcard||$124.00 - $1582.00|
|SSLPoint||Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard, RapidSSL Wildcard, Thawte Wildcard SSL, GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard, PremiumSSL Wildcard, EssentialSSL Wildcard||$74.00 - $319.00|
|Godaddy Wildcard SSL||Godaddy wildcard SSL||$269.99|
|ServerTastic||RapidSSL Wildcard starts, GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard starts, Thawte Web Server Wildcard starts||$139.00 - $399.00|
|ClickSSL||Thawte Wildcard SSL, RapidSSL Wildcard, GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard||$90.00 - $323.00|
|Trustico||RapidSSL Wildcard starts, GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard starts||$147.00 - $369.00|
|CheapSSLShop||Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard, Comodo Essential SSL Wildcard, RapidSSL Wildcard, Thawte Wildcard SSL, GeoTrust Wildcard SSL, GlobalSign Wildcard SSL||$55.00 - $516,00|