Have you ever wondered why certain URLs begin with http:// and others begin with https://?
Perhaps you have noticed the extra "s" when visiting some websites that need you to provide private information, such as on bill payment websites.
But what does that extra "s" mean, and where did it come from?
Simply said, the extra "s" indicates that your connection to that website is secure and encrypted, and that any information you provide is safely exchanged with that website. SSL stands for "Secure Sockets Layer," and it's the technology behind that little "s."
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL certificates are short data files that establish a secure connection between a web server and a browser using cryptography. This connection ensures that all data sent back and forth between the web server and the browser remains private.
A hacker can intercept the information you enter on a page with a form to fill out and submit on an unsafe website.
This information could range from bank account details to an email address used to register for an offer. SSL reduces the risk of hackers and identity thieves stealing or tampering with this information. SSL, in essence, provides for a secret "conversation" between only the two persons involved.
You must use an SSL certificate if you are running a membership site, an ecommerce website or any other business site that requires users to submit a payment or login.
1. Domain validated SSL certificates:
Domain Validated SSL certificates shows that a domain is registered and that a site administrator is running the URL.
The certificate authority, typically validate through email, DNS, or HTTP.
2. Organization validated SSL certificates:
The organization validated SSL certificate shows that we own the domain while also verifying that we own an organization in a particular country, state, and city.
It is the similar process exactly like getting a domain validated certificate, but we have to take some more steps to verify our company’s identity.
Types of SSL Certificates:
1. Single Domain SSL Certificates
A single-domain SSL certificate applies to one domain and only one domain. It cannot be used to authenticate other domain, not even subdomains of the domain the certificate issued for.
2. Wildcard SSL Certificates
Wildcard SSL certificates are for a single domain and all its subdomains. A subdomain is under the main domain. Usually, subdomains will have an address that starts with something other than 'www.'
3. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MDC)
A multi-domain SSL certificate, or MDC, lists multiple distinct domains on one certificate. With an MDC, domains that are not subdomains of each other can share a certificate.
Assurance levels for SSL/TLS certificates:
Certificates are considered to be low assurance, as the verification method simply confirms that the Subscriber controls the asserted email address. No verification checks of the Subscriber’s identity are performed. This level of validation is referred to as Domain Validation
Certificates are considered to be medium assurance. They provide a greater level of assurance over Class 1 Certificates, because in addition to email address control, basic verification steps are performed to confirm the identity of the Subscriber. This level of validation is referred to as Organization Validation (OV).
Certificates provide a high level of assurance. They are issued only after rigorous validation of the identity of the Subscriber. This level of validation is referred to as Extended Validation (EV).
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