SSL Certificate: Which Is The Right Choice For Your Website? – Shamsher Khan

SSL Certificate: Which Is The Right Choice For Your Website?

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic struck and changed our lifestyles completely, digitalization has now pushed our daily activities online. As a business owner, as a consumer, as a blogger, or as a student, we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by new technologies, a lot of data sharing online, new anxieties, and fears regarding the safety of our sensitive information shared online. There is so much new happening every day. However, digitalization, with its immense benefits, also brings along its downsides. 

As online business owners, you have a great responsibility in taking concrete steps to give your customers the best user experience and, most importantly, earn their trust. With so much awareness among the internet users regarding the safety of their crucial data and new complex cyber frauds making headlines in the daily news, the security of user’s data becomes the topmost priority for online business owners and customers alike. 

According to a study on the average cost of data breaches worldwide from 2014 to 2020 by Statista in 2020, a whopping amount of 3.86 million U.S. dollars were lost to data breaches, a 1.5 percent decline from the 3.92 million U.S. dollars in average data breach costs in 2019. With so much at stake, creating awareness, taking data security seriously, and looking for effective solutions is the only answer.

Here, SSL Certificate security for your website is playing a very important role in providing the highest degree of security for your data and protecting you against ever-evolving cyberattacks. So, you must buy SSL Certificate to provide hardened security and authentication for your website. But, which SSL Certificate should I invest in? Where can I get them from, and what factors do I need to keep in mind when choosing an SSL Certificate for my website? These are a few very vital questions that can sometimes be very daunting for website owners. So, taking care of all your queries, here is a summary of all that you wanted to know before settling in for the most appropriate choice of SSL Certificate for your website. But before that, let us first unravel the very basics of an SSL Certificate.

 

SSL Certificate Insights And Its Significance

So, let us decipher what is Secure Socket Layer (SSL)? The website security protocol provides a safe encrypted path for all communication between the user’s web browser and the webserver. The SSL Certificate is essentially a digital certificate issued by Certification Authorities to websites; after installing the SSL Certificate on the web server, the website’s protocol changes from HTTP to secured HTTPS. 

Hereafter, any user information shared between the web browser and the web server will be encrypted and thus becomes unavailable to hackers. An SSL Certificate secured website displays a trust symbol, a padlock before the URL of the website that instills confidence among users that their data shared on the website will be safe. This alleviates the website’s user experience and, in addition, helps in securing a higher rank in the Google search engine result pages. SSL Certificates also provide authentication to the website. SSL Certificates must be bought from only reputed SSL Certificate providers that offer you the best trust.

Now that we have gained a fair knowledge of SSL Certificates let us try to simplify the process of selecting an SSL Certificate for your website and learn some very useful tips for its selection. There is an array of choices available for SSL certificates across different levels of security requirements and budgets.

Choose Between Various Validation Level Requirements  

SSL Certificates can be classified firstly based on different validation level procedures employed by the Certificate Authority(CA) when issuing SSL Certificate as under

 

Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificate: 

DV is the starting level SSL Certificate issued after carrying out a basic verification process by the CA. It involves just giving proof of ownership of the domain to the CA. Because of the simple verification process of just the domain and no documentation requirement, the DV SSL Certificate takes the least time to be issued among all other options available in the market. 

These are the cheapest SSL Certificate and most popular among small websites not handling user’s sensitive information or transactions. DV SSL certificates are also usually preferred for securing blogs. As you can see below, no Company information is available in the ‘Subject Tab.

Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate:

The CA issues an OV SSL Certificate after carrying out domain validation and an authentication verification process of the owner company. The OV SSL Certificate includes the company’s identity information and can be viewed by accessing the certificate’s details. Information about the company is present in the ‘Subject Tab’ as shown in the example below.

OV SSL Certificate has a greater market share among medium-sized organizations and takes more time to be issued than DV SSL Certificate. As the OV SSL Certificate gives more time to verify the owner company, it is costlier than the DV SSL Certificate.

Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate: 

The EV SSL Certificate is issued to the organization after following vigorous background verification, its current operational status, address, legal status, etc. So, the EV SSL Certificate enjoys the highest order of customer trust and reputation. As such, this SSL Certificate takes a much longer time to be issued and is costlier than DV and OV SSL Certificates.

An EV SSL Certificate secured website gets special trust symbols in the form of a green address bar, green padlock. The verified company’s name is displayed in the address bar. Site seals displayed on the website raise your trust factor multi-folds. EV SSL Certificates are widely used in big financial organizations, banks, e-commerce websites, etc. As shown in the example below, the company information is present in the “Subject” tab of the certificate. Additionally, the company name is seen clearly in the address bar of the browser.

Check the Number Of Domains/Subdomains to Be Secured

According to your particular need of securing single or multiple domains, you can choose between the following SSL Certificates

 

Single-Domain Certificates: 

A standard SSL Certificate secures a single domain for your website. A single domain certificate secures just the root domain that it provides authentication for. But if you want to secure multiple domains or subdomains, investing in a Wildcard SSL Certificate or Multiple-Domain Certificate proves to be budget-friendly and offers ease of time management, than buying an individual single-domain certificate for each of the multiple domains and subdomains.

 

Wildcard Certificates:

A Wildcard SSL Certificate secures the main root domain and all the subdomains, one level below the root domain with just a single certificate. A website secured by a Wildcard SSL Certificate secured website displays a special character( *) prefixed in the address bar. Wildcard Certificates use a common name of the format *.example.com, so it will secure the multiple subdomains as shown above in the image like blog.example.com, mail.example.com, etc., with a single certificate. 

Multi-domain/SAN SSL Certificate: 

A Multi-domain or SAN(Subject Alternative Name) SSL Certificate gives the convenience of securing multiple domains/ subdomains with a single certificate. This certificate gives you the flexibility of addition and modification of the Subject Alternative Name field. Furthermore, it does an excellent job of protecting multiple names in between various domains and subdomains. e.g., with just a single Multiple-domain(SAN) SSL Certificate, you can secure all of the following domains as seen in the image: www.example99.co.uk, www.example.com, etc.

In conclusion, we can say, if you want to grow your online business or attract more visitors to your blogging website, it is imperative to give due importance to securing the sensitive data of your customers by securing a website with an SSL Certificate that suffices your targeted security needs, budget plans and certificate issuance time. With all the detailed understanding of an array of SSL Certificates at your disposal, now is the time to procure the most appropriate SSL certificate for your website. Investment in the right SSL Certificate will ensure that you gain all your organization’s sales and growth objectives.

About the Author Shamsher

Live Instructor-Led online digital marketing trainer, a consultant, and an affiliate marketer with over 8+ years of experience View Course Details if you want to grow your business online or want to learn digital marketing online from anywhere.

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