SSL Certificates for Web Domain names
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When successfully installed on a web server for a particular domain name, it activates the padlock and the HTTPSD protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser and the other way around. Typically, the SSL Cert is used to secure credit card transactions, emails, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.
SSL Certificates bind together:
- A domain name, a server name or a hostname.
- An organizational identity (e.g.: the company’s name) and its location.
Any decent organization needs to install the SSL Certificate onto its web server to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure (safe), meaning that hackers won’t be able to get it.
When a certificate is successfully installed on the web-server, the application protocol (also known as ‘HTTP’) will change to ‘HTTPS, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’. Depending on the type of the certificate you will purchase and what browser you are surfing the internet with, a browser will show a green padlock or a green bar in the browser (upper corner / left-hand side) when you visit a website that has successfully installed a valid SSL Certificate.
Generally, secure websites use encryption and authentication standards to protect the confidentiality of all web transactions and communincation. Currently, the most commonly used protocol for web security is TLS, also known as Transport Layer Security. This technology is still commonly referred to as SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, a predecessor to TLS.
After the secure connection it’s been made, the session key is used to encrypt all transmitted data. Browser connects to a web server (web site) secured with the SSL (https). The browser requests that the server identify itself. The server sends a copy of its SSL Certificate, including the server’s public key.
The difference between the two protocols (SSL vs TLS) are very minor and technical, but they are different standards:
– TLS uses stronger encryption algorithms and has the ability to work on different ports. Additionally, TLS version 1.0 does not interoperate with SSL version
These days there are three major types of certificates that offer 3 levels of user trust for SSL/TLS negotiations:
- Domain Validated certificates (DV),
- Organization Validated certificate (OV)
- Extended Validation certificates (EV).
Domain Validated certificates are certificates that are checked against domain registry.
SSL Certificates can be found and purchased for as less as £9.90/year from many hosting companies including ours. To see prices and details please go to this page: SSL Certificates