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SSL Certificates in Simple Terms and Why You Need Them

Dec 4th 2014 at 4:17 AM

What exactly are SSL certificates? To understand what SSL certificates are you first need to have an understanding of the term SSL and what it means. The term SSL stands for secure sockets layer, which is a form of data encryption. The basic idea behind this form of web browser security is that an individual's web browser can communicate safely and securely with a web server. By the way, in case you are considering it here is a promo code for your SSL certificate.

If you have ever shopped online, then chances are that you have already encountered SSL technology but you just didn’t know it. That’s because it is often employed when you create a website registration and when you place an order on a website and enter your credit card information.

How SSL Certificates Work

SSL works by having two different keys. One key is used to encrypt the information from your browser to the server and that is called a public key. The other key is a private key, which the website’s server uses to encrypt the information. When an individual contacts a website and then goes to the secure page a handshake is made. This is where the certificate comes into play..

The SSL Certificate Itself

SSL certificates are provided by a third-party to validate to the world that the server you are communicating with is the one that says it is. Typically the third-party that you obtain an SSL certificate from is a web hosting provider or a domain registration company. There are various forms of certificates some that do not require a ton of information from the user.

Likewise, some of them require you to provide a substantial amount of information before they can grant you the certificate. Most commonly these certificates only validate your domain. However, there are some that go a step further by validating ownership and some even validate your corporate information via an attorney or an accountant.

SSL Certificates for Website Registration

Since the process of registering on a website involves sharing private information, the registration and login pages are often validated through SSL certificates. Even if the registration is free, you still want to make sure that your users are comfortable with the idea of signing up on your website and sharing their information. As a result of the ever increasing threat known as identity theft, many consumers are sensitive about their online privacy. So if they land on your registration page and get an alert from their browser that they are on an insecure connection to your serve; they will most likely just leave your website, not register on your site and never come back.

SSL for ECommerce

If you are selling anything on your site will certainly want a certificate. Of course, having one is not an absolute requirement but you will lose sales without one. If someone is going to enter their name and password they will want to see a certificate that tells them that the coast is clear.

Should I Get an SSL Certificate

So if you have a website and want to show that you are secure by displaying the lock emblem in the browser’s address bar, then you would need to obtain a third-party SSL certificate.

This will give your users peace of mind. As such, if your website contains a registration form or if you sell products on it, then it is highly suggested you do obtain one.

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