What is a website security certificate? In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about this topic.
We do not face security threats only physically. In fact, it’s been proven that major security threats are not land-borne, they are cyber.
You see all these computers and technologies connecting us, as much as they are bringing us together, they are actually exposing us to threats.
See, as the web evolves, so do security threats perpetrated by wicked individuals on a mission to cause chaos and havoc online.
Just like we have an army and the police to keep us safe, your website too needs a layer of protection.
It needs a way to keep itself safe from the threats it faces daily in form of hacking.
That is where a website security certificate comes in.
What is a website security certificate?
A website security certificate is a symbol site gets from authorities to show that they are safe. Think of it as a digital stamp of approval from an industry-trusted organization.
This third-party organization is known as a certificate authority or CA in short.
In a nutshell, a website security certificate is essentially a digital file containing information about the website as issued by the CA. The data it contains tells us that it is safe to use the website since all of its communications are encrypted.
- The domain name that the certificate was issued for
- Which person, organization, or device it was issued to
- Which certificate authority issued it
- The certificate authority’s digital signature
- Associated subdomains
- Issue date of the certificate
- Expiration date of the certificate
- The public key (the private key is kept secret)
A website security certificate is what most people know as an SSL certificate, while others refer to it as a TLS Certificate, an HTTPS certificate, and an SSL server certificate.
All of these names communicate one thing, a website security certificate.
It is a seal of security for your website.
You see that little padlock up there in the website address?
That is the work of a website security certificate.
Why do I need a security certificate for my website?
Do you really need this little padlock in your web address?
Well, let us find out now;
a). Secure data transfer
Without an SSL certificat aka website security certificate, your website will be transferring data in a bare plate, hiding nothing.
This means that anyone genius enough to know how to extract the right information, can hijack this transfer and siphon information.
Think personal data like passwords, credit card informations among others, all in the wrong hands!
That is what happens when your website is not using a website security certificate.
With an SSL installed, your website moves from using HTTP protocol to HTTPS protocol.
That S in HTTPS is security, which means your website is now communicating with servers through a secure channel.
Does it mean it cannot get hacked?
Well, not necessarily.
Considering there might be other vulnerabilities in your network cum website, in case of a data breach, the attacker won’t be able to decipher the data because they are encrypted.
That is the power of using an SSL certificate.
Yes, what does ranking have to do with a website security certificate?
Google, the largest search engine on earth has confirmed that insecure websites will rank lower on their search results pages (SERP).
This is to say, if your website is not using a website security certificate, you won’t be able to get free and organic traffic from Google.
And do you know why that matters?
Well, maybe it is because everyone is using Google, which includes your potential customers.
So, if you are not using an SSL, you are missing out.
How do I get a secure certificate for my website?
Acquiring a website security certificate is easy. The first step is deciding on the type of SSL you want to use on your site.
In fact, there are three main types of SSL; Extended Validation (EV SSL), Organization Validated (OV SSL), and Domain Validated (DV SSL).
While they all work pretty much the same, the difference is in the vetting and verification processes needed to obtain the certificate.
Some require you to provide more information before you are issued the certificate, while others require less.
How do I choose SSL?
To choose the right website security certificate for your business, consider the following;
- Identify the property types you wish to protect (domain, sub-domain).
- Identify if you need protection for a single property or multiple properties (wildcard or multiple domains).
- Then, decide which level of protection you need. domain-validated — LOW. organization-validated — MEDIUM.
I hope I have answered your question on what is a website security certificate.