Internet usage is higher than ever, with 90% of U.S. adults using it, and this percentage only grows each year. With more and more people adopting the internet for their work, being on the internet has now become almost required for any business to be successful. Of course there are exceptions, but in this advancing world, we all need the internet each day for one reason or another. The internet provides a platform for buyers and sellers to communicate. We need the internet for crucial business processes to work efficiently, and to send private business messages back and forth. So, security measures, like SSL certificate validation, must be taken to ensure website activities are secure.
Why is SSL Certificate Validation Important?
With more people becoming concerned about their security on the internet, having an SSL certificate is a must. Many big, once successful companies, had a hard time surviving when their websites weren’t secure. This made their conversion rates drop because customers didn’t trust their website security. It is important to remember that to be successful, you have to “earn” the customer’s trust. Your clients now have a variety of options when buying a product or service, and they will be more inclined to trust you when they know your website is secure.
When users buy from you, you need some necessary information from them to complete the transaction. They must trust your site with their personal and financial data. If you prove unsuccessful in maintaining that trust, you will lose customers. There are many ways to earn customer trust, but one of the most cost-effective ways to do so is to buy an inexpensive SSL certificate.
How Does an SSL Certificate Work?
One of the significant risks regarding identity theft, while the data is being transmitted, happens via man in the middle (MITM) attacks. This takes place when the perpetrator interrupts the communication between the two parties and succeeds in stealing the information being exchanged. SSL helps you protect your clients from such thefts.
SSL certificates encrypt and decrypt the data between your website and your customers. It is done in a way that only the communicating parties know how to encrypt or decrypt the data. The secure socket layer (SSL) turns the plain data into a “hypertext transfer protocol secure” (HTTPS). This is why your website address will say HTTPS, rather than HTTP when you get an SSL certificate.
The SSL certificate creates one public key for encrypting and one private key for decrypting, known as public key infrastructure (PKI). The public key is sent to the web browsers, and the private key is kept safe with the server.
The data your website or customer is transferring is encoded before being put on the transfer channel. Then, once it reaches the end, the SSL encodes the data. Hence, even if a hacker or malware succeeds in getting a hold of the information you are transmitting, they will not be able to make sense of what they stole. This helps maintain the privacy of the user, and the security of your website remains strong.
The Role of SSL Certificates
SSL certificates act as a shield for your clients against hackers and malware. These hackers may attack during the transmission of information. As we have seen above, to become successful on the internet, it’s crucial to consider your security. If your website does not provide a safe environment for your prospective customers, it’s unlikely they will make purchases or revisit your site. Internet users are highly protective of their data, as they should be. So, an SSL certificate validation solves this problem for you.
Build Trust With Your Website Visitors
Having an SSL certificate lays a foundation of trust between you, the owner, and the end-user. These certificates are issued by trusted third parties called certificate authorities (CA). These authorities ensure no one other than the authentic domain owner gets the SSL certificate.
Create a Secure Network
SSL technology creates a secure network between the communicating parties. By encrypting the data, they make sure that no malware or hackers steal your personal information while it’s being transferred.
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Types of SSL Certificates
There are many types of SSL certificates available for purchase. Do you own a website that has multiple subdomains? You can either buy multiple certificates for all your subdomains or buy a single multi-domain SSL certificate. It is advisable to buy a single multiple-domain certificate. It saves you time, money, and requires far less management. In addition to this, you can buy DV, OV, or EV SSL certificates. Not sure what they are? Well, you can buy different SSL certificates depending on the level of verification required.
Domain Validation Certificates
DVs, or domain validation certificates, are a good option for sites that do not sell products. For example, blogs and businesses selling services. These certificates have the least-strict level of validation. When these certificates are on a website, a padlock is usually displayed on the left of the address window of the site.
Organization Validation Certificates
OVs, or organization validation certificates, are often used for S/MIME email certificates, document signing, client authentication, and code signing. These kinds of certificates have a modest level of validation and use a manual examining process. When these certificates are on the site, a certificate is shown with the relevant details of the website.
Extended Validation Certificates
EVs, or extended validation certificates, are usually bought by companies that handle sensitive customer data such as credit card numbers and passwords. For instance, e-commerce stores and banks. These certificates have the strictest level of validation. When the browser’s lock symbol turns green, it is an indication the EV SSL certificate is on the particular site.
Between these options, it is best to pick the one that suits your business best. Although some options are less expensive, be sure to pick the one that will properly protect your website and your customers’ data.
SSL Certificate Validation in a Web Browser
The process of how a web browser determines an SSL certificates’ validity may be confusing. After all, the browser has to determine if the certificate is real or not. Let’s break down the process in simple terms:
- The web browser (Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc.) your customer uses receives the web server’s certificate.
- The certificate the browser receives has the public key with a signature of a reliable certificate authority (CA).
- The web browsers are connected to the public keys of the certificate authorities.
- The certificate has the domain name and the IP address of the webserver.
- The end-users’ web browser verifies the certificate with the certificate authority.
- The web browser of the customer installs a shared symmetric key. This encrypts the HTTP data and converts it to HTTPS.
This method is better than using public/private key encryption for everything. This is because it is more efficient, and the key is shared using the more secure asymmetric encryption. This process seems incredibly complicated, but it actually happens automatically after the SSL certificate validation. Your customers’ web browsers and your website already know how to go about these interactions. So, you won’t need to memorize this process or worry about it.
Get SSL Certificate Validation For Your Website!
It is highly important to have an SSL certificate for your website. It maintains the trust of your customers and can increase your conversion rate. In addition to this, it can help with your SEO strategy. When someone searches for a particular product or service, hundreds of websites appear. But when you have an optimized website and an SSL certificate, the search engine is likely to show your website at the top. So, be sure you get an SSL certificate for your website!
As the founder of Joshua Lyons Marketing, Josh Lyons primarily focuses on business development. He has studied and practiced marketing since 2008 and launched his first company (a marketing agency in Pensacola, Florida) in 2015. When he's not writing blog posts, recording podcasts or consulting, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves listening to audiobooks and checking out different coffee shops. He also enjoys fire juggling, amigurumi, travel and swing dancing; which is how he met his wife.