In today’s world, many established companies have an online presence. Building your brand and establishing the credibility you need to attract more customers is possible with an online presence. However, everyone connected to the internet is vulnerable to cybercriminals.
On the internet, a new attack occurs every 39 seconds. Your most sensitive data is constantly at risk from cyber attacks by hackers, who are always looking for new ways. It’s crucial to have a safe website that encourages users. Visitors don’t want their private data to end up in the wrong hands. Therefore, protecting online transactions and maintaining the confidentiality and security of client information is paramount for any business and organization.
Installing an SSL certificate is the most well-liked and continually expanding alternative for website owners regarding internet security. SSLs are becoming a crucial component of managing data security for organizations online.
It is no longer an optional security measure. However, with so many SSL certificates accessible, selecting the best SSL certificate may initially appear challenging. For this reason, we go into great about the many kinds of SSL certificates, their advantages, and disadvantages, as well as tips on how to choose the best SSL certificates.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for secure socket layer. It is a digital certificate used to verify a website’s legitimacy and protect your site from rogue and malicious hackers.
An SSL certificate allows for the encryption of all data between the server and the visitor to guarantee the integrity of all the transmitted data while also confirming the legitimacy of the domain name that is running the website.
Benefits of using an SSL certificate
SSL certificates are so important. It is necessary for every organization operating online and on websites to have SSL certificates. Using an SSL certificate has the following major advantages.
1). SSL secures data
By using an SSL certificate, you and everyone who accesses your website are protected. When users enter personal information like IDs, credit card numbers, passwords, and other details, SSL prevents anyone outside the website from seeing that data. While configuring SSL, you can specify who has access to sensitive data.
2). SSL validates your identity
Identity verification is a crucial component of web security. SSL confirms the legitimacy of the domain name that is running the website.
SSL reduces the danger of identity theft and fraudulent transactions by requiring users to confirm their identity before entering information into your website.
By doing this, you can ensure that no fraudster sets up a false website impersonating you. As a result, SSL protects users from fraud, directs them to your legitimate website, and builds your reputation.
3). Increases search engine ranks
Search engine result pages provide websites with an SSL certificate an extra boost. Additionally, browsers advertise SSL encrypted websites because users’ information is protected.
4). Meets PCI standards
Any website that conducts online transaction but be PCI compliant accepts payments online. One of the requirements established by the payment card industry (PCI) is the installation of an SSL certificate.
5). Develops trust with users
Nobody wants their data to end up in the wrong hands. Having an SSL certifies your website as a legitimate company, which inspires users’ confidence when they transact with you. They return to your website frequently as a result of their confidence in the security of their personal information.
6). Assesses danger
You can receive immediate notification when hackers attempt to access your website. Change any passwords or login information after checking the website’s data to ensure it is secure.
Types of SSL certificates
There are various types of SSL certificates that you can select from depending on the requirements of your website and business. There are two categories for the different types of SSL certificates.
Category one; Types of SSL certificates based on SSL validation levels
There are three validation levels offered for SSL certificates
#1. Extended Validation SSL certificates
These certificates are frequently used when the highest level of security is necessary.
When providing extended validation SSL certificates, CAs perform thorough background checks on the organization that owns the domain, confirming its ownership, legal status, geographic location, and other information.
A website that has an EV certificate, will have some or all of the browser’s web address displayed in green. Also, included will be the padlock symbol. The nation and the company name will be shown in the address bar.
EV certificates are crucial for governmental bodies, huge corporations, and eCommerce sites to build trust with their consumers.
- They promote website traffic and SEO ranking
- Increase client trust by displaying an EV green address bar with an HTTPS padlock
- Getting an EV certificate is difficult for hackers
- Safeguard clients from phishing and cyber terrorists
- They feature a better level of validation and a longer warranty
- Compared to other forms of validation SSL certificates, which only run up to a year, EV offers the longest certificate length possibilities of up to two years.
- This is by far the most expensive option for single domains
- There is trouble involved in the validation process. It can be obtained in 3 to 5 days
- The procedure may also be delayed if any inconsistencies in the documentation are discovered, necessitating further information and proof from the company.
#2. Domain validation SSL certificate
Domain validation is those SSL certificates that are issued upon the applicant’s demonstration of some level of domain control.
When DV certificates are installed, browsers display trust indications like the padlock icon and the prefix HTTPS:// before the website domain.
For eCommerce sites that deal with sensitive personal or financial data, DV certificates are not the best option. They are ideal for internal websites, test servers, and test domains.
- It is the least expensive choice and some CAs even provide them for free
- You don’t need to submit any documentation and they are granted very quickly
- Due to the low level of validation, website visitors have little knowledge about the true identity of a domain owner. If you run an online store or any other type of website that asks customers to provide sensitive information, this can hurt your site’s credibility and makes it a less than ideal alternative
#3. Organization validation SSL certificate
In comparison to domain-validated SSL certificates, organization-validated SSL certificates can increase the legitimacy of your website. It turns on HTTPS and shows your consumers that you value security.
Organization validation SSL certificates are better suited for websites with a public audience because they can only be issued to registered organizations, not to private people.
- OV SSL certificates are thought to be more reliable than DV SSL because users will know who is in charge of the website and to whom they are providing information
- Easy to install
- OV certificates require more time to produce compared to DV certificates. Verification can take a few days.
Category two; Types of SSL certificates based on how many sites they protect
#4. Single domain SSL certificates
Single domain SSL certificates make up the vast bulk of SSL certificates granted annually. A single domain SSL certificate is an SSL certificate that secures only one fully qualified domain name per certificate.
It can be issued for each of the three levels of validation, domain validation, organization validation, and extended validation. It is frequently used by small businesses and people with personal websites or blogs.
- Protects a single domain (including non-www versions)
- Cheapest type of each validation level
- Cannot secure multiple domains or subdomains
#5. Multi-domain SSL certificate
A multi-domain SSL certificate is also known as a subject alternative name (SAN) and is used to secure multiple domains with a single certificate. Depending on the provider, it can secure up to 250 different domains and an unlimited number of domains.
- One certificate can be used to secure all domains and subdomains
- As only one certificate is needed for site security, it saves time, money, and installation issues
- Because each change necessitates the issuance and replacement of an SSL for the addition or removal of websites is a time-consuming job. Only DV or OV is compatible with multi-domain SSLs
#6. Wildcard SSL certificate
It is the most flexible certificate among all the SSL certificates. It is used to protect the primary domain and as many subdomains as necessary. They are available in DV or OV validation options.
- Reduces the cost of needing to buy more certificates
- It secures the main domain and unlimited sub-domains
- It only secures the first-level subdomain
- Not available in extended validation
#7. Multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate
With just one certificate, this one can secure numerous domains and level subdomains. It is available with both OV and DV.
- With one certificate, all domains can be easily managed and protected
- One certificate can be used to secure countless subdomains under different domains
- Excluded from extended validation
After looking at several SSL certificates types, along with their benefits and drawbacks, let’s move on to the factors you should take into account when selecting an SSL certificate
Factors to consider when selecting an SSL certificate
01). The nature of the enterprise
The sort of SSL that should be installed depends on the nature of the enterprise. Various enterprises run differently. Some organizations such as large enterprises and financial institutions, collect highly sensitive and private data. Some gather less data from their users.
If the enterprise collects a lot of sensitive data, it’s necessary to install an SSL that provides the maximum levels of security.
Each SSL certificate has a different cost. Depending on how much money you have to put into your SSL, will determine the SSL certificate you install or buy.
03). Customer support
When selecting an SSL certificate, you should settle for an SSL certificate so that you are assured of their customer support.
If there are any issues, the SSL certificate providers should be able to support you whenever you need it and should be accessible around the clock. There is no 24-hour assistance offered by free SSL providers.
You want to pick SSL service suppliers who offer warranties. The warranty amount increases with the level of validation. Keep in mind that free SSL providers do not offer warranties.
05). Issuance period
Different verification processes are used for SSL certificates. Some certificates are provided immediately, while others can take up to five days to process if an extra inspection is needed.
However, if the CA has any concerns, they could request additional information from you, which could lengthen the issuing process.
Every website is built differently. Some websites house all of their important pages on a single domain and its subdomains, while others may have their important pages across multiple domains.
It depends on how many domains and subdomains you wish to secure to choose what kind of SSL certificate you need.
Every online business must prioritize trust. It is crucial to invest in the appropriate SSL certificate to safeguard your website and users from cybercriminals.
However, choosing one might be a difficult undertaking given the abundance of SSL certificates available.
You can select an SSL certificate appropriate for your website once you have identified your company’s objectives, the type of validation, the number of domains, and any other needs.