Lesson 101: 7 Things to Keep in Mind When Investing in an SSL Certificate

 

Hackers are basically thieves who sneak up into your website and misuse all your confidential information; information that if in the wrong hands will destroy your website and its credibility in one fell swoop.

It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

You don’t need to fret too much; all you need is an SSL certificate from a recognized Certification Authority.

1. What is an SSL certificate?

Simply speaking, an SSL certificate does the function of a security lock. It assures you and your visitors that your website is a secure place to enter confidential client information. It is a warning sign for hackers to avoid your site as it is protected by the armor of an SSL certificate.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. The full form makes it clear that can SSL is designed to make your website a secure place.

An SSL certificate is absolutely necessary for websites that require confidential details of their clients to conduct business.

To make your website PCI compliant, you need the seal of an authorized and recognized SSL certificate providing company.

2. How does an SSL certificate secure a website?

Very few people understand exactly how an SSL certificate makes a website a secure place for transaction. Before investing in an SSL certificate it is important to understand exactly what an SSL certificate does for your website.

3. SSL certificate encrypt valuable data

An SSL certificate is designed to encrypt all the credit card information that clients feed into the website. When you feed in your financial details in a website, it travels through various computers before reaching the website server. When the information travels through this path, it goes through various computers all of whom can easily access all your information.

An SSL certificate encrypts those details till the time they reach their destination. As such, your information remains safe.

4. SSL certificate also authenticate websites

Apart from encrypting valuable information, SSL certification also assures customers that they are not feeding their information into fraudulent websites.

SSL certifications do a complete background check of your website as well as organization.

The certification authority also checks the legitimacy of your website. A website that has been approved by a certification authority assures your customers that their information is safe in your hands.

5. How do I pick an SSL certificate for my website?

Picking an SSL certificate for a website is a crucial business. With so many SSL certificates as well as companies to choose from, users get confused and end up investing in the wrong certificate.

As SSL certification is an expensive investment, and a slightly complicated process, buying the wrong certificate can result in a loss that you may not be able to afford.

Here is a list of features that you need to keep a track of when investing in an SSL certificate.

Issuance Speed

Considering the amount of research that is done by Certificate Authorities to authenticate a website, it is usually a time consuming process. As such, issuance speed becomes a big concern for websites that are looking for a quick SSL certification to kick start their business.

There are many SSL certificates that can be issued within minutes, but it is important to note that these certificates don’t do much to assure your customers about the authenticity of your website

It would be best for you to invest in an SSL certificate weeks before your website is up and running. This won’t force you to invest in a cheap certificate that does you absolutely no good.

There is another alternative in case you don’t have much time to spare to get an SSL certificate. You can simply issue a temporary certificate while your application for another SSL certificate is renewed.

Warranty:

Certificates that come with over a $100,000 warranty are excellent in assuring the website’s customers that the Certificate Authority takes its security very seriously. The warranty works like an insurance that will be reimbursed to the customers in case they become the victims of online fraud.

This shows that when a Certificate Authority takes the right to authenticate website as secure they also take the responsibility in case the customers become victims of online fraud.

The warranty amount shows the customers and website owners how serious certificate providers are about the authenticity as well as security of a website.

Certificate lifetime:

Certificate lifetime is a huge concern for users when they buy a certificate. Almost all certificates come with a one year lifetime. It is usually recommended that customers opt for a multi-year lifetime as such certificates end up being more economical and users don’t have to worry about reissuing their certificates for the next few years.

Most customers who buy a one year lifetime certificate forget to reissue their certificates and this leaves their website vulnerable to hackers.

If you are planning to buy a one year lifetime certificate, then you should keep a reminder about the expiration date for the certificate. This ensures that you won’t have to spend more money in buying that certificate all over again.

Security Seal:

Informed online customers know about the personalized security seal that each Certificate authority provides for its customers. However, it is important to note that these security seals are only applicable for Extended Validation or Organization Validation certificates. Very few companies provide Security seals for their low level certificates.

6. Which Certificate Authority should I choose?

There are many certificate authorities circling the internet for new customers. However, it is crucial for your sanity to not put your trust in all of them.

When planning to purchase an SSL certificate it is best for you to go for recognized companies who are doing constant business with known clients.

There are many Certificate Authorities that provide cheap SSL certificates. Such authorities only do the bare minimum and give you an SSL certificate that is worth nothing for your customers.

A Domain validation SSL certification is the most basic SSL certificate in business. It only checks the domain name and owner of the website and does no further check for the authenticity of the website as well the existence of the company.

Such verification proofs are useless for you and your customers. It is best to go for high end certificates that are issued by globally recognized authorities like Geotrust, Symantec, Entrust, GoDaddy or Digicert.

7. Which type of certificate will be best for my website?

This is the question that every website owner should ask when buying an SSL certificate. There are several different types of SSL certificates.

Most customers invest in an SSL certificate depending on its cost. This can be a big mistake. SSL certificates that are made on the cheaper end of the pay scale do not fulfill the security needs of your website.

Especially in the case of e-commerce websites, it is best to go for SSL certificates that provide extended validation. Extended validation certificates audit your company and provide complete details of it to the clients so that they feel assured when filling in their financial details.

Other websites can go for lower level certificates as those websites are basically informative and do not carry any confidential information.

After reading this complete article you are now equipped with all the details you need to know about SSL certificates. Now, you can easily pick a certificate that will fully secure your website and assure your customer that their financial details are in safe hands.

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