Secure socket layer, aka, SSL certificates, are tiny data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s information.
When you install an SSL on a web server, the domain name in the browser displays the https prefix. There is also a padlock displayed on the left of the domain name. Look at this blog’s web address in your browser – you’ll notice its https://WebhostingGuard.com and not http://WebhostingGuard.com.
SSL certificates are used by multitudes of internet businesses and individuals to reduce the risk of sensitive information getting accessed by hackers and identity thieves. Credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, and emails are prime examples of confidential information that SSL shields from prying eyes. In essence, SSLs allow for private “conversations” between two intended parties.
Different browsers are now displaying different messages to indicate that a site doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed. Chrome visitors might get the following message:
What would you do if you got a warning in your browser that said the site you are visiting isn’t safe? Yep, you would get the hell out of there.
There are many bad online actors out there looking to steal the personal and financial information of your site’s visitors. Get your SSL certificate now, and let your visitors know you take data security seriously.
Namecheap hosting offers free and premium SSL certificates for sites hosted with them. The host offers detailed illustrations on how to install the certificates. Should you run into installation problems, the company provides helpful support via live chat or a ticketing system to get up and running as fast as possible.
You could purchase a Namecheap SSL certificate for your website that’s hosted with another provider. Just ensure that your host allows third-party SSL installations and that you can get assistance from it to secure a seamless installation.
Namecheap accepts third-party SSL certificates and provides responsive support. Should you go the third party route, you will need to contact that provider for assistance on the activation and issuance of your certificate. Namecheap hosting will require a validated certificate in the PEM format for the installation.
You’ll find that all hosts provide SSL certificates, but the question is, what level of certification do they offer, and what level of certification do you need?
LEVELS OF SSL CERTIFICATES
DOMAIN VALIDATION (DV)
I use a free SSL certificate that my hosting provides. This certificate only comes with a Domain Validation (DV) option. DV is perfect for blogs (like this one) and personal websites.
DV certificates only provide a basic level of authentication. Such a certificate does not verify the site owner’s information and isn’t suitable for e-Commerce or sites that have user logins. DVs do not require paperwork, and owners can activate them in mere minutes.
ORGANIZATION VALIDATION (OV)
OV certification is ideal for securing sites that take in customer info and require login credentials. The Certificate Authority verifies website ownership information.
OV sites come with Dynamic Site Seals. When customers click on the seals, important security details are displayed. The information displayed offers a higher level of assurance to website visitors. This level of certification requires paperwork.
EXTENDED VALIDATION (EV)
This SSL certificate offers encryption for more sensitive customer information, such as credit cards. As EV provides the highest level of trustworthiness, the Certificate Authority more vigorously vets site owners’ information. Paperwork is needed.
BENEFITS TO BUSINESSES
1. ENHANCED AWARENESS
One of the primary reasons why your website needs an SSL certificate is to improve brand identity. A premium SSL certificate improves customer confidence by broadcasting to the world that your true identity online has been validated by an industry-recognized certifying authority.
A premium SSL certificate indicates to customers that a company is 100% committed to transparency.
2. IMPROVED SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS
An SSL certificate or the lack thereof is a significant factor in search engine ranking algorithms. In 2014, Google confirmed that after juxtaposing two equally matched sites, the site with an SSL would rank higher than the website without one. Higher rankings are more likely to mean better conversion rates and, of course, higher profits.
If you own one of the many sites out there that still do not have an SSL certificate, get one now from Namecheap. It is easy and affordable to acquire one.
3. SAFE ONLINE PAYMENTS
A business website with a premium SSL offers substantial security to customers as they enter their payment details. A top-notch SSL certificate is the industry standard for end-to-end encryption protocol to thwart hackers from getting your customers’ sensitive data.
4. GREATER LEVELS OF SECURITY
Namecheap shared hosting offers free SSLs to its customers. However, if you want a higher level of security for your website, you will want to buy a premium SSL certificate, such as an OV or an EV.
The number of bits used to generate the encryption key determines the degree of security. Most of the SSL certificates offered by Namecheap offers 256-bit or 128-bit encryption, depending on the capabilities of your web browser and server. Both 256- and 128-bit are industry standards for data protection.
DOES YOUR SITE NEED A SSL
You might want to think about adding an SSL certificate even if your site doesn’t handle sensitive information. Like previously mentioned, a website without an SSL might get a warning sign displayed in the browser. A warning of this nature results in a loss of customers, and hence a loss of revenue.
If you have a WordPress website or some other database-driven site with a login page for the administrator, you should have an SSL certificate installed. Without it, anyone with access to this login could modify your pages or take your entire site down.
If you have an e-commerce site, it’s a no-brainer – you NEED a premium SSL certificate installed. Such sites are ripe for online data breaches if not properly secured.