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What Is SSL Certificate And Why Is It Necessary?

October 29, 2013
Are you familiar with the term digital certificate, SSL certificate, or encryption? These terms may sound technical and difficult, but not quite so.  SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the standard protocol for managing the security of messages being transmitted over the internet.

What is a SSL certificate?

It is a small data file which can be installed on a web server to digitally attach a cryptographic key to the details of an organization. It facilitates security between a web server and a browser.

SSL or digital certification makes sure that every website is taking care to protect the sensitive information being passed on to them from the customers. The certificate says that the website is genuine and works like a guarantee for the safety of the information that the site handles. Websites that are into transfer of information needs to have this certificate in place before they can start doing business. This is all the more true for e-commerce sites, which deals with information pertaining to credit card numbers and other personal information.

How does it work?

SSL certificate works by using the public key encryption technology for authentication. In this technology, a public key and a private key are generated for any application. The data which is encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted when the private key that corresponds to the public one is being used. The private key is stored away in a database file and protected by keyword. The messages can be decrypted by only the owner of the private key, whose identity is verified through a digital certificate issued by a third party authority.

What are the different types in SSL certificates?

There are three types of SSL certificates available today.

·         Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates: In this type, the certificate authority (CA) examines whether the applicant is justified in using a particular name for its domain. It also checks the organization, according to a process defined in the EV SSL Certificate Guidelines.

·         Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates: Here, the CA examines whether the applicant is justified in using a specific name for its domain. It checks out the organization, where vetted information is shown to customers, once they click on the Secure Site Seal. The idea is to be totally transparent as to the people behind the site, which in turn builds up trust and confidence. 

·         Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates: In this particular type, the CA examines whether the applicant is justified in using a particular name for its domain. There is no vetting of company information or any display of information other than the standard encryption information that comes with the Secure Site Seal.

Why is it necessary?  

The use of SSL certificate is important to ensure that the websites have the necessary security measures in place and can live up the exalted expectations of the users of today. In this day and age, most people are using the internet to do almost everything. In such a scenario, website owners cannot afford to take any chances and lose out on customers. With the necessary security measures in place, they can go all out and sell their existing products or find new customers. SSL today is being used to protect and safeguard data transfer, logins, credit card transactions, and also secure browsing in social media sites.

This is in fact the easiest way to ensure that the personal information that is being keyed in by an internet user stays that way. If the sites are not able to deliver on this safety issue, they are least likely to be visited again. The confidentiality of the data is essential for people to buy products or services from a specific site. The SSL certificate is one way in which this security feature in built into the millions of online transactions that are taking place today on a daily basis. Visit here for more information SSL Certificates.

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