SSL Certificates: What Are They and Why You Need Them
A domain uses various protocols such as www, http, or https. When a domain is using a security certificate, it shows https where “s” stands for secure. SSL or Secured Sockets Layers is a certificate that encrypts data while transferring to a server. What does this exactly mean? Having SSL means protecting sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, payment information, bank details etc. When a website does not use SSL, data will be sent as plain text, this leaves room for the hackers to steal your data. SSL is not only important for securing your data, but it also boosts in your search engine ranking.
SSL Certificate Validation Levels and Types of Certificates
There are different Certificate Validation Levels and different Types of SSL Certificates.
The Certificate Validation Levels are:
Domain Validated Certificates: provides low assurance certificate and the process is automated. Essential SSL is a domain validated certificate. Domain Validated certificates are ideal for small and medium websites as these certificates are cheap.
Organization Validated Certificate: provides medium assurance; domain ownership and company identity are validated by real agents. This type of certificate is useful for company websites. Examples of Organization Validated Certificates are Instant SSL, Premium SSL, Wildcard, Comodo Multi-Domain etc.
Extended Validation Certificates: Provides high assurance and validation process is complicated. This certificate checks whether the business is legit or not. This kind of certificate is mostly used by e-commerce sites. Some of the examples of Extended Validation Certificates are Comodo EV, Comodo EV Multi-Domain etc. When a website used Extended Validated Certificate, your website will show with a green bar and a padlock.
The Different Types of Certificates are
Single Domain: Secures your one domain. You can secure your single domain with the certificates such as Instant SSL, Instant SSL Pro, Instant SSL Premium etc.
Multi-domain: Secures up to 210 domains with a single certificate you purchased. In order to secure your multiple domains, you can use certificates like Comodo Multi-Domain Certificate, Comodo EV Multi-Domain Certificate etc.
Wildcard: Secures all the subdomains on your website. Comodo Premium SSL is a Wildcard Certificate that secures all the subdomains in a website.
Where to buy Security Certificate for Your domains?
SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authority. GeoTrust, DigiCert, Symantec are some of the big Certificate Authorities. You can also buy a certificate from third party certificate resellers like Namecheap and Comodo.
Free Certificate vs. Premium Certificate
You can not only buy Security Certificates from Certificate Authority and Certificate reseller, but you can also get free SSL from Lets Encrypt. You can use SSL from Lets Encrypt if your host provides Free Certificate or supports Lets Encrypt. If you have the technical know-how, you can also install free SSL from Lets Encrypto by yourself.
Since you can also find free SSL certificate providers, you might ask if I can get it free what’s the point in paying extra to have a certificate on your website?
Free Certificates or self-signed certificates show your website as secured, however, it does not actually secure your website as these certificates are unregulated. In other words, your website can be compromised. Your website will still show secured even when it is compromised.