Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to exploit any security breach, loophole and vulnerability in an effort to gain unauthorized access to websites in order to obtain sensitive information.
As cyberattacks get more sophisticated, frequent and aggressive, the need to deploy better security measures throughout cyberspace in order to protect digital assets from hacking, phishing, identity theft and spoofing attempts becomes increasingly important.
Data transferred over the internet through regular HTTP connections in plaintext form or in unencrypted format can be monitored, intercepted, tampered, compromised and stolen by unauthorized users.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a popular global security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server (where a website is hosted) and a visitor’s browser or alternatively, between two systems.
The digital certificate enables to authenticate the identity of a site and scrambles the data which is sent to the server so that only the intended recipient can access and understand it.
This security protocol facilitates the safe transmission of private, confidential or sensitive information as it travels across the World Wide Web’s computer networks.
Typical examples for such data include credit card info, names, addresses, social security numbers as well as account login information (usernames and passwords) and email addresses.
Web browsers provide clear visual cues, such as a padlock icon or a green bar, to ensure website visitors their connection is totally secure.
In addition, when a website has an SSL certificate properly installed on the server that hosts it, the web address begins with the https prefix rather than the regular http.
Some providers also offer a graphic certification seal or badge to give visitors an added level of assurance.
What Websites Use SSL?
- Online shopping sites.
- Websites that accept payments on the web.
- Internet platforms with online monetary transactions.
- Providers of online banking and other financial services.
- Services that offer memberships or paid subscriptions.
- Sites that store personal or sensitive information on their databases.
- Websites that wish to enhance credibility and trust.
Here are some of the key advantages that SSL certificates provide:
- A more secure environment in which data is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers.
- Online shoppers on ecommerce sites get more confidence to enter their credit card details or other types of personal information.
- This measure confirms the authenticity of the site and its ownership, which guarantees visitors that they’re not on a bogus, spoofed or fake website.
- Better security increases customer trust and peace of mind.
- A sign of legitimacy, professionalism and reliability, which makes potential customers feel more comfortable doing business with the vendor.
- Some search engines provide a ranking boost for site pages that are served over https, making it an important SEO factor to consider.
What Do SSL Certificate Companies Offer?
Each service provider (aka Certificate Authority or CA) offers a variety of different SSL certificate options which can be issued to suit a diverse range of business needs, security requirements and customer budgets.
Digital certificates come in various forms, each with its own characteristics, features, number of secured domains / subdomains (single domain, wildcard or multi-domain), levels of business vetting and authentication as well as issuance speed, meaning the time it takes to complete the entire application, verification and certification process after all necessary information and documentation is received.
There are three main types of products which can be used to secure a website: Domain Validated (DV SSL), Organization Validated (OV SSL) and Extended Validation (EV SSL).
The validation level and the number of secured domains and subdomains do not affect the connection security level provided by a given SSL certificate.
Vendors offer both annual and multi-year plans, which can be renewed before they expire.
Features of different SSL products may include:
- Compatibility with major web browsers and mobile devices.
- Support for multiple / unlimited subdomains
- Support for multiple / unlimited sites and domains
- Closed padlock symbol
- Green address browser bar
- “https” domain
- Company name shown in browser
- HIPAA compliance
- Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance
- Unlimited free reissues
- Dynamic website security seal
- Flexible refund policy / money-back guarantee
- Warranty / liability protection
- 24/7 customer support
Paying for SSL Certificates with PayPal
Many popular SSL certificate issuers in the market accept PayPal and take a variety of other payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers and more.