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Why SSL for your Website is Critical

Date:
By  Jeff Pond

Trust, Authentication, and Encryption are the three pillars of protection an SSL certificate provides to anyone visiting your website.  Without this protection a hacker can potentially monitor and hijack the traffic between your web browser and server, and steal any information they like. Not Secure This is exactly why web browsers like Google Chrome flag a website as “insecure” if it isn’t protected by an SSL certificate.  

Many search engines are now penalising insecure websites by pushing them down the organic search results in favour of secure websites.  All the more reason to make sure your website is covered by an SSL certificate!

How does SSL Provide Trust?

When you visit a website protected by SSL your web browser will show a “padlock” icon or a “green address bar” to show the visitor their connection is secure.  In the case of a “green address bar” the website is secured via an Extended Validation “EV” certificate. This means the website owner has gone through comprehensive checks to ensure they are legitimate.  EV certificates also provide a greater level of warranty cover in the event of data theft.

How does SSL Provide Authentication?

SSL Certificate

Authentication in this sense means you, as a website visitor, can be sure your data is being sent to the correct server and not an imposter or hacker trying to steal your information.  This process happens underneath the covers between your web browser and the destination server. If your web browser successfully authenticates with the server it will display a “padlock” or “green address bar”.  

How does SSL Provide Encryption?

An SSL certificate is used to encrypt the data between your web browser and the destination server as it travels across the internet.  Along the way your data will pass through many different servers and various networks until it reaches its destination. SSL encryption provides privacy and data integrity throughout the transfer.

What are the Different Types of Certificates?

There are three types of certificates.  The main difference between them is the depth of verification before issuance and amount of warranty cover they provide:

 

  1. Domain Validated (DV): domain validated certificates require the lowest level of verification.  Typically, proof of ownership of the domain is enough to warrant issuance of a DV certificate. DV certificates generally offer a small amount of warranty cover, typically from $10,000-$500,000 depending on the vendor

  2. Organisation Validated (OV): organisation validated certificates require proof of business or organisation documents to warrant issuance of the certificate.  The types of proof required differ but generally a legal existence record or other variant will suffice. OV certificates generally offer a greater amount of warranty cover, typically from $100,000-$1,500,000 depending on the vendor

  3. Extended Validation (EV): extended validation certificates offer the top protection and offer the greatest warranty cover.  Extensive proof of business ownership and multiple documents must be supplied to warrant issuance of the certificate. EV certificates also display the business name in the address bar, typically in green.  EV certificates offer the greatest amount of warranty cover, typically from $1,000,000-$1,750,000 depending on the vendor

What about Letsencrypt Certificates?

Letsencrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority.  Letsencrypt’s goal is to provide free SSL certificates for all. While Letsencrypt offers encryption and authentication like all other SSL certificates, they do not offer any kind of warranty cover, which may be important depending on the kind of website you’re securing.

How can I get an SSL Certificate for my site?

Talk to our Technical Team about what type of SSL Certificate is right for you, and how you can update the security on your site.

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