What is an SSL Certificate?

You may have heard of many kinds of certificates, but what is an SSL certificate? Well, to end your doubts and queries, here is a detailed overlook. Let us start from the basics.

SSL CERTIFICATE

Definition– SSL certificate is a digital certificate that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. These certificates communicate to the client that the web service host demonstrated ownership of the domain to the certificate authority at the time of certificate issuance.

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is a protocol. What is the protocol? The rules deal with what kind of data should be forwarded. It tells us what commands should you utilize to send and receive data. Thus, it also tells about how the data gets approval. SSL provides a protected tunnel between two machines or devices working over the internet or an internal interface. For example, to secure communication between a web browser and a web server, we make use of SSL. This transforms a website’s address from HTTP to HTTPS, the ‘S’ standing for ‘secure’.

HTTP vs HTTPS– We say that HTTP is insecure. Also, it is prone to eavesdropping and other sorts of attacks. This is because the data that we transfer from web browser to the webserver or between the other end to endpoints via plain text. This means attackers can intercept and view sensitive data, such as credit card details and account logins. HTTPS enables proper encryption of the data. Thus, the data transmitted is safe and sound. Therefore, we don’t need to worry about it being intercepted by an unauthorized person.

What makes SSL certificate necessary?

  • Data Integrity– This ensures that the data that is requested is the one submitted.
  • Authenticity– This ensures that the connection is made to the right server.
  • Encryption- This ensures data protection.

Why should you have SSL Certificates?

An SSL certificate ensures that the provider is who they claim to be and also indicates secure connections between personal devices and websites. Understanding SSL certificates is important for website trust and to help protect customers from becoming a victim to scammers. SSL Certificates are tiny data files that digitally join a cryptographic key to an organization’s articles. It has the following in it-

  • A domain name, server name or hostname.
  • An organizational identity (i.e. company name) and location.
  • Which certificate authority issued it
  • The certificate authority’s digital signature
  • Associated subdomains
  • Issue date of the certificate
  • The expiration date of the certificate
  • The public key (the private key is always a secret)

How to buy an SSL certificate?

We obtain SSL certificates from the CA authority. The CA’s purpose is to accept certificate applications, authenticate applications, issue certificates, and maintain status information on certificates issued.

Browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices keep lists of advanced CA root certificates. To trust a certificate, the end user’s machine needs a root certificate. You might see an error message from the browser if there is no trust in the party.

Types of SSL certificates

There are three types of this. Each one ensures a different kind of security.

  1. DOMAIN VALIDATED– DV certificates verifies who owns the site. In this process, the CA will send an email to the website’s registered email address in order to verify its identity. Alert, that DV certificates have the lowest level of trust and are commonly used by cybercriminals because they are easy to reach and can cause a website to appear more secure than it is. 
  2. EXTENDED VALIDATED-This type of certificate is mandatory for websites that manage sensitive information. It has the greatest level of security and is the most relaxed to identify. In order to issue an EV certificate, the CA conducts an improved study of the applicant to develop the level of confidence in the business.
  3. ORGANISATIONALLY VALIDATED-To receive this certificate, a CA must validate certain information, including the organization, physical location, and its website’s domain name. This process can take a couple of days.

This is all about the certificate at a glance. If you wish to read more then check out-

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