What Is an SSL Certificate and Why Do You Need It?

What is an SSL Certificate

Most businesses operating online are aware of the importance of SSL certificates and do whatever is needed to keep them up-to-date. You probably know that they are for the protection of both your business and your customers. What you may not truly understand is this: what is an SSL certificate? How does it work, why do you need it, and where should you get one? Here are some basics that will ensure you have a better handle on your SSL security.

What is an SSL Certificate?

What Is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, sometimes called digital certificates, are used to establish an encrypted connection between a browser or user’s computer and a server or website.

SSL stands for secure socket layer. It is a type of technology used to create a protective layer of encryption for information transferred between a server and a browser. This means that any information sent to a user’s browser, or any information sent back to the web browser, is encrypted.

In order to utilize SSL security, you need an SSL certificate, which is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). You will have to provide information about your business and apply, after which the CA will confirm your details and issue your SSL certificate, allowing you to secure your website. Your site will then feature an HTTPS application protocol (instead of HTTP), with the “S” signifying that your site is secure, along with a padlock icon.

How Does an SSL Certificate Work?

There are two parts of an SSL certificate: the public key and the private key. When you apply for an SSL certificate, you first need a private key to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) that features company details for verifications purposes. Once this information has been validated by the CA, you will receive your SSL certificate. The private key is also important once you have your SSL certificate because it helps to secure and verify connections, but it imperative that you keep this key private so it cannot be used for identity theft. The public key associated with your SSL certificate is just that: public. It allows others to verify SSL authenticity without having access to your private key. Now your web server is secure and communications between devices will be encrypted. The significance of this is that anyone intercepting communications between your server and browsers will be unable to access the information being sent, protecting any confidential data communications may contain.

Why Do I need an SSL Certificate?

In the most basic sense, you need an SSL certificate to protect your company and your customers from data thieves, identity fraud, and other malicious activity. There are other benefits to be gained, as well. For example, customers may steer clear of websites that don’t have the lock icon and the HTTPS application protocol, especially since many browsers now display the “insecure” warning for sites that feature only HTTP (rather than HTTPS). You may also see better rankings and conversions when you use an SSL certificate to show that your site is secure (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html).

Who Can Help Me Get an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate that is trusted in browsers can only be obtained through application with a Certificate Authority. However, you needn’t go it alone. Secure128 can help you to determine the level of security that’s right for you and get you through the application and verification process, as well as manage, renew, and support your SSL certificates.

Why Should I Choose Secure128 For My SSL Certificate Needs?

Now that we’ve answered the question “what is an SSL certificate?”, you need to know where to get one, and Secure128 is a good choice. Secure128 is not only a proud partner of Symantec and several other CAs, but offers a variety of support services to ensure that every business has access to the products and services needed to operate securely online.