Introduction to SSL FAQ
SSL is a tool that websites use to get internet security. An SSL works like a shield to protect internet users from fraud and hackers. It is a protocol that is widely used by servers and web browsers so valuable information can safely be shared online. Normally, site owners use this protocol to keep their customer information safe. If it is your first time to come across SSL, you should keep reading. Some SSL FAQ will be answered here to help people find out more about what this incredible tool is.
In addition, hackers are coming up with new ways to get a hold of information they can use to steal money and even cause threats. Hence, SSL is a necessity for your business.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer that uses cryptographic protocols to provide security technology. It provides an encrypted link between the server and the browser. The SSL makes sure that the data transmitted between web servers and browsers remain integral and private. SSL certificates are acquired by websites to protect the sensitive information of their customers. This information includes usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, email addresses, etc.
What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate?
The wildcard is applied to the Alpha, Organization SSL, and Domain certificates. The issuance of the certificate is for the domain name that you specify in the application. If you purchase a wildcard using any certificate, it means the specified common name is yourdomainname.com. After that, you can use the certificate on subdomains and servers. You can also add more in the future if needed.
In case you must secure multiple domains on one domain name, you can purchase a wildcard.
What is a Certificate Authority?
The companies that issue SSL certificates are the certificate authorities. The protection provided by an SSL is just as good as the company behind it. Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have a list of trusted certificate authorities. In case your site uses one of the trusted certificates listed, it will be recognized as secure by the browser.
For instance, RapidSSL is a certificate authority, and it is trusted by most browsers. It provides reassurance and protection to visitors.
What is a Domain Validation SSL?
The domain validation (DV) certificate is the most used type of SSL. It is issued by a certificate authority (CA) after the applicant was validated by proving they control the domain. Normally, domain control is validated by these methods: http file-based, CNAME, or email-based. Most DV certificates only take minutes to issue because documents or human intervention is not needed. DV certificates are normally cheaper compared to the other types of SSL.
What is Organization Validation SSL?
Organization validation (OV) certificates give more trust compared to the DV SSL and it requires more validation before it is issued. The CA will validate the domain name, company name, and other information through public databases. These certificates are DV and EV certificate medians. It is normally recommended for governments, corporations, and eCommerce sites to get more trust and security.
What is an Extended Validation SSL?
The extended validation SSL or EV SSL needs a complete organization validation. It provides website visitors with the highest level of trust and more confidence. That is because it shows the company name/verified legal identity and the green address bar. Sometimes, the EV certificate is also called the green address bar SSL. The EV SSL certificate is for strengthening eCommerce security and prevent phishing attacks.
What is a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)?
In order to complete your SSL certificate application, you must generate a CSR which you need to submit to the CA. The CSR has an encrypted text and your application details: domain name, company name, email address, and location. In addition, your private and public keys are generated. The private/public key is used to encrypt and decrypt all communications and transactions done online between your customers and you. To make sure that you have secure website traffic, you must never share your private key. Your SSL certificate is issued by the CA after receiving and confirming your details.
What is Data Encryption?
Encryption is a process of mathematical coding and decoding information so data is kept secure while it travels between computers. If raw, it sends unencrypted data, and anyone who intercepts this information can understand it right away. The bits are 40-bit, 56-bit, 128-bit, and 256-bit, which indicates the key size. Such as a longer password, there are more possible combinations in a larger key. When there is an established encrypted session, there is a determined encryption level. It is determined by the SSL certificate, web browser, web server, and client’s operating system capabilities.
What is a SAN Certificate?
A SAN certificate is also known as a multi-domain SSL, and it has the same encryption level as other types of SSL. However, it is intended to secure a combination of unique multiple domains, environments, and subdomains. This certificate has complete control over the field of Subject Alternative Name (SAN). The SAN SSL is normally used for securing Microsoft Exchange Server and Office Communications Server. You can also change/add/delete any SANs if needed. To protect the www. and non-www. versions of your website under the same hostname, they must be specified upon activation of the certificate. A separate and dedicated IP address for the hostnames is not required by a multi-domain.
Is SSL the Company’s Central Service?
SSL certificates can be bought in different places, that it can get confusing where to buy. However, there are platforms that offer more than SSL. They also sell DNS or hosting services.
Since they do not mainly focus on SSL, most likely they are not going to serve you with the right experience and support. Therefore, you must ask if their focus is SSL and it is their only product. You must look elsewhere if they do not.
Do the Visitors Know of the Website Uses SSL?
When their browser is on a secure site, it can retrieve the SSL certificate. It will then check its validity, that it comes from a trusted CA, and the website it was issued for uses it. In case the website fails these checks, the browser will show the user a warning. In case it succeeds, there are many security indicators to tell the visitor it uses SSL.
- The http:// changes to https:// at the beginning of the URL
- The open padlock on the browser becomes closed
- They will see the address bar has turned green and it displays the website’s name and owner. This happens when the browser is connected to a website that uses an EV SSL certificate.
Does an SSL Certificate Slow Down a Website?
No, it does not. The SSL certificates provided accelerates the website’s load speed. When there is a visitor on your website, their browser asks for a valid proof of your certificate. This is an automated process to make sure that your website will load faster so your visitors do not have to wait long.
These are the questions to ask when you buy SSL certificates.