how an ssl certificate works

How an SSL Certificate Works and Why It’s Important

Website Security

When it comes to internet security, SSL is absolutely vital. Standing for Secure Sockets Layer, SSL certificates are used on websites all across the world as a means of protecting those websites’ data.

Every website worth its salt contains at least some sort of SSL certificate. Those without such certificates are considered to be, in general, much less legitimate.

Are you wondering how an SSL certificate works? If so, you’re in the right place.

How an SSL Certificate Works

An SSL certificate is a small file of data which you place onto a website in order to bolster the security of that website’s data.

In order to bolster security, SSL certificates make use of something called a cryptographic key. This key is essentially responsible for disguising a website’s data so that outside intruders can’t intercept it.

Each and every time the cryptographic key comes into contact with a new collection of data, it will assign a random string of variables to that data. When a hacker tries to steal that data, he or she will instead only collect these random variables.

In essence, what an SSL certificate does is ensure a secure transfer of data from the website to the browser. This makes it especially beneficial for those websites which regularly transfer financial data.

But this is not all that an SSL certificate does. Having an SSL certificate also shows online users that your website is to be trusted. It shows those users that the data contained within your website is legitimate and authentic.

Websites which contain SSL certificates are given labels which indicate that they’re authenticated. These labels can go a long way in building trust with website users.

Types of SSL Certificates

In general, there are three different types of SSL certificates. Each of these types provides something a little different in the way of benefits. There are domain validated certificates, organization validated certificates, and extended validation certificates.

Domain Validated

The cheapest type of SSL certificate available is the domain validated certificate. The reason for its low price? It provides the least amount of validation of the three types.

While it still provides the same intensity of encryption as the other two certificates, it only validates that the website domain is legitimate. It does not validate the information on the website.

Generally, this type of certificate is purchased by small companies which don’t participate in commerce, and which don’t exchange sensitive data.

Organization Validated

The mid-level SSL certificate is the organization validated certificate. This certificate validates both the domain of the website itself and the information contained within the website.

Whereas domain validated certificates are typically given out in an automated fashion, organization validated certificates typically require a manual monitoring process. In essence, an actual person must vet your website to validate your data.

For some small businesses and individuals, this is the top form of certificate. It will, for the most part, ensure to visitors that your website is legitimate.

Extended Validation

The ultimate form of SSL certificate is the extended validation certificate. This certificate is more expensive than the other two, but offers validation that far surpasses those two as well.

If your website has an extended validation certificate, it indicates to users that it’s as safe and legitimate as possible. This makes it a great certificate for e-commerce sites and other sites in which financial data is often traded.

The process associated with getting an extended validation certificate is a great deal more stringent than it is for the other two, but it can well be worth it.

What are the Benefits of an SSL Certificate?

Not only should you know about how an SSL certificate works, you should also know the ways in which it can benefit your website. In general, an SSL certificate provides the following four benefits.

Offers Encryption

As was noted above, SSL certificates are highly beneficial for their ability to encrypt transferred data. This data includes everything from financial data, to passwords, to personal data, and more.

When transferred data is not encrypted, it’s left vulnerable to the many hackers of the world. It’s the digital equivalent of leaving the doors to a mansion wide open. Information can be stolen at will.

Encrypted data, on the other hand, can only be seen by two people: the person who sent it, and the person who is meant to receive it.

Authenticates Your Website

SSL certificates are important not only because they encrypt the data which is transferred from your website, but because they show users that your website is legitimate. In essence, they authenticate your website.

Each different type of certificate provides a different level of authentication with domain validated being the lowest level, organization validated being the middle level, and extended validation being the highest level.

If you want people to use your website regularly, you need to make sure that they know it’s legitimate. Authenticating it with an SSL certificate is the way to do this.

Improves SEO

One last benefit you’ll receive from using an SSL certificate on your website is a boost in your website’s SEO. Since 2014, Google has made it clear that an SSL certificate on your website will improve its ranking on their search engine.

If your website is in a highly competitive niche, an SSL certificate could be the thing which puts your website over the top of its competitors. In essence, an SSL certificate could greatly increase the traffic that is incoming to your website.

So not only will you have your data protected and your site authenticated, you’ll essentially be receiving free marketing

Looking for More Information on How an SSL Certificate Works?

In search of more information about how an SSL certificate works? Looking to add an SSL certificate to your website? If so, SiteUptime is the place to be.

We offer everything you could ever need to keep your website secure and thriving. Our SSL certificate will show online users that your website is legitimate and to be trusted.

Contact us for more information!