What is an SSL Certificate and do you really need it?

It is well known that more and more people are using the internet as a tool for information, communication and online commerce. Unfortunately, the information exchanged through the online network is exposed to a number of risks, some of them which can alter, impersonalize or intercept the information transmitted. Since being on the Internet is vital and mandatory for any kind of business, protecting confidential data and making your website safe for visitors should be of the same importance. That is why digital security certificates have become the go-to proof for users to make sure a website is safe and secure to use.

Why should you activate an SSL certificate?

Over 85% of online users avoid unsafe websites. SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates have been introduced to guarantee the authenticity of a website and to ensure the integrity of information exchange, as well as the encryption of confidential data during online transactions.  Activating the SSL certificate has become necessary especially for websites that collect sensitive information, such as user name, password, financial transaction data or orders receivals. Installing a digital certificate involves getting other benefits as well: faster page loading of up to 60%, better positioning in Google’s search engine, encrypted data transmission.

How do SSL certificates work?

All SSL certificates are made up of a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt the data sent from the browser to the server, which is the key distributed to the client, and the private key is used for decryption. When a browser accesses a secure server, a server-to-client authentication takes place, comparing the two keys and confirming the authenticity of the website.

Thus, the role of the SSL certificate is to guarantee the true identity of the site and to prevent any possibility of data interception on the transmission path, no matter the communication channel used.

SSL certificates contain:

  • the name of the company/website/person that owns the certificate
  • the public key of the owner
  • the validity period of the certificate
  • the name of the author of the certificate
  • the author’s electronic signature

Accessing a secure site will display a green lock in the browser’s address bar, thus increasing the visitor’s trust. SSL certificates can also secure e-mail communications, as these ones can be easily intercepted and read by unauthorized people.

You do need to understand that not only e-commerce, government or high traffic sites and websites with high-value information need an SSL certificate. Any website, regardless of the object or service promoted, by small or large traffic, benefits from a high security upgrade when installing an SSL certificate. If you do not own an SSL certificate for your website, check our Sibername packages and witness how your customers will increase their trust in your online business.

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