What is an SSL Certificate?

What that padlock next to a URL means and why you NEED one…

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the method of scrambling data in a way so that it cannot be read without the proper decryption key.

SSL certificates fulfill a few purposes.

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To Secure & Encrypt

This will encrypt the data between your web browser and the website that you are accessing. So that it cannot be intercepted by a 3rd party.

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Authenticate the Website

When a website is authenticated by an SSL certificate, you can be confident that you're connected to the correct website.

Without an SSL Certificate in place, the connection is left both unguarded and unauthenticated - meaning any and all information that you send to or receive from a website can be intercepted without much effort by hackers.

Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

If you are a website admin/owner, leaving your website unsecured can be incredibly damaging for your users, business, and overall brand reputation. According to the latest Google Transparency Report, 93% of web traffic in the U.S. is encrypted. This means that users are accustomed to seeing that padlock icon next to an URL. You don’t want to be the website losing out on business because your website is displaying something else…

ssl, https, safety
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Avoid Browser Warnings for Non-HTTPS Websites​

Many website owners choose to adopt SSL/TLS for one very simple reason – to avoid warnings on their website that could scare users away. Your website will receive a gray or red “Not Secure” indicator if you do not have an SSL certificate

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Maintain Compliance with Applicable Regulations

Nearly every country and industry has at least one law/regulation that requires businesses to encrypt sensitive customer data. Businesses who fail to use SSL/TLS (and other mechanisms) to encrypt customer data can face substantial fines

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Enable Additional Browser Features

When running a business, the last thing you want your users to run into are errors or a lack of functionality on your website – nothing can be more frustrating. Well, without HTTPS, your users could find themselves running into quite a few.

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Speed Up Your Website with HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is the latest version of HTTP. Enabling HTTP/2 can reduce your website’s page load time by over 13%. We all know how important page load times are for converting web traffic. Most major browsers fully support HTTP/2, but they will only support it over an encrypted connection. This means you need an SSL certificate to ensure you and your users enjoy the benefits of HTTP/2.

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Get SEO Benefits with SSL/TLS

Google has made it clear that security is a top priority for not only them, but should be for all webmasters. As part of their call for “HTTPS Everywhere”, Google further expanded the call to reward those webmasters who secure their websites with SSL/TLS encryption. The reward? Google rewarded those with SSL/TLS encryption with a boost in SEO rankings

What are the Different Tiers of SSL Certificates?

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Domain Validation (DV)

A Basic Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate is the first tier of SSL/TLS Certificates. Often known for their no-frills encryption and quick issuance, Domain Validated SSL Certificates are quick to get up and running but only prove ownership of the domain being secured.

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Organization Validation (OV)

A Business Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate is the middle tier of SSL/TLS Certificates. Known for their Organization Verification and Dynamic Site Seals, they’re a great starting point for those looking to showcase their organization.

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Extended Validation (EV)

A Premium Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate is the highest tier of SSL/TLS Certificates on the market. The EV cert allows for users to verify your company information and that they are on the correct website through your certificate details – an effective way to establish immediate trust with users.