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Website, Web Security, Online Security, SSL Certificate

Complete guide on SSL Certificate: how it works and why you need it

If you are like me, you are probably wondering what the heck a SSL Certificate is. If it’s relevant and why you need it, right? So, with this article, we are going to break it down into chewable chunks.

 

An SSL Certificate is a digital computer file (or small piece of code) that has two specific fuctions; Authentication and verification, as well as data encryption.
– Symantec, Beginner’s guide to SSL Certificates

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL is short for Secure Socket Layer. This is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client. So basically, from a web server (your website) to a browser or a mail server to a mail client (outlook).

Its main purpose is to serve and protect (LOL – See what I did there…)

FYI: It allows sensitive information such as credit card number, ID numbers and login credentials to be transmitted securely.

Basically, it’s a security protocol. Protocols are there to assist in describing how stuff (algorithms in this case) should be used. With the SSL protocol, it determines variables of the encryption for both the link and the data that’s transferred.

How does SSL work?

SSL Certificates is there to build trust. That tiny, but significant friendly green lock in your web browser is a very important aspect to help build trust. Hopefully, you see it on just about every site you visit. Actually; there should be a lock in your URL bar right now.

So here’s the just of it all – the lock is super duper important.

The lock indicates your browser used HTTPS to properly secure and authenticate your connection with a website. This has 3 main goals:

  1. Privacy: Encrypting data such that anything in-between your browser and the website cannot read your traffic.
  2. Integrity:Ensuring that the data received on either end has not been altered unknowingly along the way.
  3. Authentication: Proving that the website your browser is talking to is who they say they are.
The back-end of it all is actually quite simple.

Here is a quick rundown of what happens with a SSL Certificate;

  1. Your browser reaches out to the website server and requests a connection
  2. That web server then sends you its public key. It keeps its private key a secret
  3. Your browser generates a third key called a session key
  4. The session key is encrypted by your computer using the public key you got from the web server
  5. The encrypted session key is then shared with the web server
  6. The web server then decrypts the session key that it received from you using the secret private key (now both ends have the session key that your computer generated)
  7. The public key encryption is terminated and replaced with a symmetric encryption
  8. Now you are in a session with the server using only symmetric encryption and that how it remains until you leave the website.
SSL, SSL Certificate, Security, Online Security, SSL Security, HTTPS

Now that you know what a ssl certificate is and how the ssl works, lets have a look at why this is so important.

Why SSL is important?

Keeping yourself safe in this day and age is super important. And in the same manner you secure your house from intruders with Trellidor, you need to secure your website.

Your website is the online “face” of your business. And people search for trustworthy suppliers online. This is why a SSL Certificate is so important for your website. It creates immediate trust between you (your business) and the client that is searching for a product/service.

So, when they find the Green Lock or https://, they immediately feel safe to enter into a transaction with your business.  As this guarantees that the information that is sent between computer and server, is safe, secure and encrypted.

Where to get SLL?

f you browse the internet right now, there are tons of Free SSL certificate available. And even though free stuff is awesome, when it comes to security and protection, free is not as always good.

So, getting your SSL Certificate has three easy steps;

  1. Find a Supplier: Find a reliable supplier that offers certificates from a reputable provider. 
  2.  Purchase SSL through their store:  Once you have decided on your supplier, go to their online shop and see what type of certificates they provide. Yes; you will have to pay, but you will be sure that you and your customers are protected. Select your desired ssl certificate, complete the steps by adding your domain (for which you are purchasing the ssl certificate).  Once you have paid (via PAYPAL, PAYFAST or EFT), you will receive your ssl certificate to be installed on your site.
  3. Install SSL Certificate: If you decide to purchase a ssl certificate from the same company that you are hosting with, they will most probably be able to assist in installing the ssl to your domain. If you need to install the ssl yourself. There are eight easy steps to follow here (https://www.thesslstore.com/knowledgebase/ssl-install/whm-ssl-installation/)

The roaring engine of change can be overwhelming. Let’s face it! The Internet was created with the best human aspirations in mind. But darkness has a way of creeping up on us. 

Communication in the 21st century does not get a free pass and thieves steal data if it’s left unchecked.

So; we can all agree that understanding the potential risks in the fast-paced world of technology, is key to making sure you are fully protected against them.

That’s why we partnered with one of top 7 ssl certificate (https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/software-development/top-reliable-ssl-certificates )  providers in the world. To ensure that our customers receive the best security there is to offer. See our certificate range here (https://www.oculon.co.za/hosting )

2 Comments

  • SSL is necessary according to Google…. I think this will play a huge role in SEO as a ranking factor…

    Google sees your website as “safe” to use for users when you have an SSL installed on the domain….

    awesome post

    • This is so true! Thank you for your contribution. As of July 2018 – Google has officially changed its search algorithm to include searching for an SSL Certificates on your site. This means that your site will automatically be ranked as a higher priority when it has an SSL Certificate installed and on some browsers (like Chrome), users may be prompted with a warning message before they even go into your website, to tell them that the site is not secure. Which will affect your website bounce rate, affiliate link clicking, and even your e-commerce sales!

      SSL Certificates for your website is definitely a MUST!

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