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Understanding what is SSL/TLS and SSL certificates, including Why you need an SSL Certificate for your website. An SSL certificate is coding that provides Security for online communications. When a Web Browser contacts your secured website, the SSL certificate enables an encrypted connection between the two. If you have any questions that you do not see here, please submit your question at the bottom of the page.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, an Encryption technology that was originally created by Netscape in the 1990s. SSL creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your visitor's web browser, allowing for private information to be transmitted without the problems of eavesdropping, data tampering, and message forgery.

Do I Need An SSL Certificate For My Website?

No, but you probably should. As of July 2018, Google Chrome will be marking a website as “Not Secure” if it is not protected with an SSL certificate. It’s all a part of making the global web more secure. However, it is even more important if you collect data or accept payments. An SSL Certificate can help you increase the traffic. Also, Google ranks websites with SSL certificates higher in the search results.

What is the role of Encryption in SSL?

Encryption plays an essential role in SSL that uses SHA-2 hash algorithm. The SHA-2 family includes hash values like SHA-224, 256, 384 and 512. Earlier, SHA-1 was in force, but somehow it seemed weak algorithm against attacks. Currently, Most certificate authorities offer SHA-256 encryption for online security of transactions. The stronger encryption you use, the more your information is secured. Encryption creates a secure channel through which sensitive information passes.

What is SSL site seal?

SSL site seal comes at free of cost with legitimate SSL certificate. Site seal offers additional assurance to customers and shows that the website is secured with reliable SSL certificate. Website owner can place it on any web page or every web page where higher assurance is required.

What is SSL padlock?

SSL padlock is a symbol of security that appears in browsers when a user visits an SSL secured website. Once a user click on the padlock, he can view the certificate information.

Why Always-On SSL is required?

Always-On SSL refers to the security of the whole website structure, means the first page to the last page of the website is secured with SSL certificate. When you have Always-On SSL, users will feel secure on your website. It also prevents Side-jacking and SSL strip attacks. Always-On SSL helps to increase user trust as every page of your website is secured.

How SSL helps SEO?

Google has just announced that HTTPS enabled websites will have higher chance of ranking in search engine. For now, it will affect less than 1% of global queries but over the time, Google will boost it. Thus, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can take advantage by pushing their little efforts towards their websites and could get high ranking in Google search engine. Moreover, HTTPS website gets higher assurance and trust from customers as a result; there are chances of higher sales in long run.

How SSL protects against Phishing?

Phishing is a mimic of the original website, made to fool users and thereby steals their money and credentials. The CA while issuing Extended Validation (EV) SSL authenticates background of organization like physical location, operational and legal existence. Thus, The CA issues an SSL certificate to the domain name for which the application was received instead of any fake domain name. Even, EV SSL triggers green color in address bar with company name, which ensures customers that the website is real and legitimate.

What is the importance of authenticity, integrity and encryption in SSL?

SSL certificate stands on three principles: Authenticity, Integrity, and Strong Encryption
Authenticity: Authenticity refers to an authenticated third party that verifies the information contained in SSL certificate
Integrity: Integrity refers to data integrity. This means the data that moves between the user’s browser and the server remains intact and safe
Encryption: Strong encryption is a backbone of any SSL certificate that works on key pair like public key and private key
The Public key encrypts the information, while the private key decrypts the information.

What is domain control validation?

A Domain Control Validation (DCV) is used by the Certificate Authority before issuing an SSL certificate - to verify the person making the request is in fact authorized to use the domain related to that request.

What is encryption, and why are there different levels?

Encryption is a mathematical process of coding and decoding information. The number of bits (40-bit, 56-bit, 128-bit, 256-bit) tells you the size of the key. Like a longer password, a larger key has more possible combinations. When an encrypted session is established, the encryption level is determined by the capability of the web browser, SSL certificate, Web Server, and client computer operating system.

How do website visitors know if a website is using SSL?

When a browser connects to a secure site, it retrieves the site's SSL certificate and checks that it has not expired. That it has been issued by a Certificate Authority the browser trusts, and that it is being used by the website for which it has been issued. If it fails on any one of these checks, the browser will display a warning to the end user. If it succeeds, several security indicators are built into modern browsers to indicate that SSL is enabled. The beginning of the URL or web address changes from http:// to https://
A padlock on the browser window changes from open to closed. The address bar will turn green and display the name of the website owner when connecting to a website protected by an Extended Validation SSL certificate. In addition, a trust mark such as the GlobalSign site seal may be added to web pages on a secure site.

What does browser recognition mean?

When a browser or operating system encounters an SSL certificate, it checks to make sure that the certificate is valid and trusted. An SSL certificate is trusted if it is signed by a trusted or pre-installed root certificate. If a browser that does not contain the root CA certificate used to issue the SSL Certificate, a security warning will alert them.

What is a certificate signing request or CSR?

A CSR is a public key that you generate on your server according to your server software instructions. (If you do not have access to your server, your web host or Internet service provider will generate it for you.) The CSR is required during the SSL certificate enrollment process because it validates the specific information about your web server and your organization.

What is a public/private key pair?

SSL uses unique cryptographic key pairs: each key pair consists of a secret private key and a related public key. Information encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted with the corresponding private key, and vice-versa.

We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.
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