SSL Security Certificate
What is an SSL Security Certificate? What is the use of the famous “S” in a URL HTTPS:// which precedes your Domain name ? What type of Security Certificate should you choose for your website ? What is an SSL Certificate?
For the average person, this article starts off badly with all of these technical terms. Let’s start by demystifying these terms.
The internet has evolved so much since the late 1980s. Basically, the internet allows you to establish a communication link between a computer and a server, no matter where it is in the world.
What is a URL?
URL stands for “ uniform resource locator “. Dictionary defines it as an address which specifies the location of an Internet resource by indicating the communication protocol to be adopted to get to its destination via a path that will lead to a web page or a file. It is neither more nor less than the address of your store located on a very busy street.
What does HTTP mean?
This term stands for “ Hyper Text Transmission Protocol “. It is a communication protocol between browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, …) and web servers which allows you to access to a website for interact with its content.
With the growth of online transactions (ecommerce), this transmission protocol has been perfected in order to secure the exchange of personal and confidential information that takes place between an organization’s website and its customers’ computers, tablets or smartphones.
HTTPS: for secure web experience
You will understand that the S in the HTTPS means “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure“. The SSL security certificate can be compared to a password ultra sophisticated. This password, also called a encryption key, contains hundreds of characters and symbols. Each key is randomly generated by state of the art algorithms to make it indecipherable.
When you register some of your personal information in a form from a website protected by an SSL Security Certificate, they will be encrypted before being transmitted in a secure container. The complexity of the encryption keys protects you and discourages interception attempts. In short, this is the role of the SSL Security Certificate.
SSL Security Certificate
In addition, SSL Security Certificates are constantly improving. Consequently, the algorithms are becoming more and more complex year after year. Annually, your SSL Certificate must be renewed to benefit from the lastest advantage of the most recent SSL security algorithms.
Most SSL Certificates are valid for only a year. On the other hand, there are some that offer a validity based on 2 years. These are more specialized products.
Which one to choose for your website?
The choice of an SSL security certificate varies according to the exchanges and the confidential nature of the data that is transacted between your client and your website or your web application.
For example, if your website only has a simple information request form where only basic information is requested, then in this case a Basic SSL Security Certificate could be install with your Startup Plan.
Otherwise, you must turn to more advanced SSL Security Certificates. Basically, here are the different types of Certificates:
- A Domain – for only 1 Domain name (with or without the www.) – eg: www.DATAenligne.com or DATAenligne.com
- The Wildcard – for only 1 Domain name (with or without the www.) but also all its subdomains – eg: www.DATAenligne.com or DATAenligne.com and app.DATAenligne.com; dev.DATAenligne.com; internal.DATAenligne.com
- The Multi-Domains – 1 single SSL Certificate in which several domain names are protected (with or without the www.) as well as all its subdomains.
Google and HTTP vs HTTPS
Another good reason to add an SSL Security Certificate to your website comes from the giant Google. Since 2017-2018, Google’s search engine checks and prioritizes in its search results sites with a SSL Certificate. Google penalizes systematically any unprotected site (HTTP) in the search results.
Now you know why the URL of your website must start with HTTPS://. It is a matter of credibility and trust.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or doubts about which SSL Security Certificate you should choose.