Are you thinking about getting your business on the World Wide Web? Unquestionably, this will help you take your business to a new level across boundaries you would have never imagined. In this advancing world where almost everyone is on the internet, you need to be on the world wide web, aka the internet, to succeed. Many huge companies have had a hard time just because they did not have an effective online presence. Hence, the internet serves as an essential platform to help you reach out to your customers.
In addition to the increase in the usage of the internet, digital threats are also increasing rapidly. There isn’t a day when we don’t hear about the frauds or some sort of phishing cases. Hence, it is crucial to have a “secure” presence on the internet. If your website is not protected, you will lose customers which is bound to be detrimental to your business. You are not the only one facing the predicament of online threats, the internet business community has been following some best practices to reap the benefits of the world wide web while keeping themselves and their customers’ data safe.
Nowadays, with the growth of the need for security on the internet, people are becoming more and more aware of SSL, which is one of the most cost-effective, quickest, and easiest ways to secure your web traffic. SSL helps you transfer your data securely and safely by encrypting the information. It stands for Secure Socket Layer and is the secure communication protocol used by websites with an SSL certificate. It ensures that no one listening on the channel can make sense of the information being transmitted. This helps in maintaining the privacy of users.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL certificate helps you combat yourself against the most common cyber threats. It is of utmost importance to create a trusted environment where customers feel safe in making purchases. These certificates lay a foundation of trust between the users and the owner of the websites.
Are you wondering about who creates these certificates? Well, third trusted parties have been given the job to do so. Such authorities are called Certificate Authorities. These authorities ensure that secure and encrypted connections are created between the two communicating parties. They also make sure that no malware or hacker steals your personal information while it is being transmitted. Getting an SSL certificate is one of the best ways to keep your data secure.
Now that you will plan to buy an SSL certificate, you might have some doubts like:
- What are the types of SSL certificates available?
- Should you prefer the same or different certificates for non-WWW and WWW domains, for instance, subdomains?
- Which certificate authority might be the best for you?
Don’t worry, we are here to help you out.
Types of SSL certificates
These can be grouped into 3 categories based on validation:
- Domain Validated (DV) SSL certificates
These kinds of certificates have a least-strict level of validation. The CA or certificate authority simply verifies that the concerned domain is controlled by a valid organization to provide a DV certificate. This the cheapest way to obtain an SSL certificate and can be obtained easily via email. To verify, you can alter the DNS record associated with the domain or upload a file that is supplied by CA to the domain. This is usually an automated process.
When these certificates are granted, a padlock is shown to the left of the address window. This kind of certificate is a good option for blogs, small businesses, or portfolio sites, especially when the site is not involved in selling products and are looking just to launch HTTPS quickly.
Organization Validated (OV) SSL certificates
These kinds of certificates have a modest level of verification and mostly involve a manual vetting process. The certificate authority verifies the organization and makes an application, though not very deeply. Further, they investigate more and contact the organization to make sure that it is authenticated. This is done by humans, so it costs comparatively more than DV certificates. This process may take a few days. The certificate authority issues an SSL certificate for the ownership of the domain, and information such as address is included.
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When these certificates are granted, a certificate is shown with the concerned details of the website. These OV certificates are commonly used for document signing, code signing, client authentication, and S/MIME email certificates.
- Extended validated (EV) SSL certificates
These kinds of certificates have the strictest level of validation. The certificate authorities perform a full background check of the organization, which has asked for an SSL certificate. The authority validates the physical location, ownership, and legal existence of the company. It also ensures whether the organization is aware of the SSL certificate request and only then approves it. Due to high human involvement, it costs the most. This process may take some weeks because proper verification has to be done.
When these certificates are granted, the browser URL turns green. These certificates are usually bought by companies that handle sensitive customer data such as passwords, addresses, credit card numbers, etc. For example, banks, large enterprises, and other e-commerce stores.
So here the guide of different SSL certificates for WWW & non-WWW domains
Do you own a website that has multiple sub-domains (non-WWW domains)? Are you confused between buying a single certificate or multiple certificates for different sub-domains of your website?
You can buy separate certificates, but it is advisable to buy a single multiple-domain certificate. Undoubtedly, purchasing a multi-domain has many advantages like:
- SAVES MONEY: Buying multiple certificates for every sub-domain will result in much larger expenses than buying one multi-domain certificate.
- HELPS IN MANAGEMENT: Having many certificates entails a huge management overhead such as installation, upkeep, troubleshooting, renewals, etc. If you are quite a large enterprise, then you might need to hire some man force to help you out with better SSL certificate management.
- SAVES TIME: With your hectic schedule, you need to make time to check all your website certificates, which may soon become a difficult task as you increase domains.
In addition to this, multi-domain certificates are further divided into 2 types:
- Unified SSL certificates / SAN
It allows the website owner to protect up to 100 domains by just buying one SSL certificate. It protects the different domains with the help of SAN extension.
These are designed to secure Office Communication and Microsoft Exchange environments.
- Wildcard SSL certificates
These help the owner of the websites to secure an unlimited number of subdomains. If you are a large enterprise, then these are the best kind of certificates for you.
Which certificate authority might be the best for you?
There are a lot of certificate authorities from whom we can buy an SSL certificate. Each authority is a trusted third party and provides you with your desirable certificate to protect the information of your customers. One of the leading and most trusted Certificate authority is RapidSSL certificates. These certificates are reliable, easy to install, cheap, and are backed up by a free warranty. So you might want to go and check it out.
Now that you know about all the types of SSL certificates, you must be in a very good position to decide what kind of certificate you need to secure your website.
The internet is not getting any more secure, it is rather becoming a scarier place for customers, and the responsibility is with us to make sure that our customers feel safe. Buying an SSL certificate is one of the most cost-effective and easiest things to do for securing your web traffic. It assures your visitors that they can exchange their sensitive information with your site without it being stolen during transmission. Go ahead and make use of the information in this article to pick the right SSL certificate for your needs.