Briefly, an SSL certificate allows a website to switch to the HTTPS protocol. The exchanges that take place there will therefore be secure, as will the connection between the browser used by each visitor and the server of the web platform. The website can thus prove to Internet users its legitimacy and the confidentiality of all the data exchanged within it.
Unlike the HTTP protocol, HTTPS is completely secure (hence the “S” which stands for “Security”). It guarantees the encryption of data collected by the website that activated it. These data include, among others, e-mail addresses, personal information, and bank details.
Any web platform which uses this protocol and which of course has an SSL certificate is easily recognizable by the little padlock in front of its URL which, in this case, is preceded by “HTTPS”. Now let’s take a look at the different types of SSL certificates and the good reasons to have one on your website.
The different types of SSL certificates
Allowing the activation of the HTTPS protocol, the SSL certificate is a data file that associates a cryptographic key with the data of an entity. As soon as it is installed on a computer server, data exchanges between the latter and browsers are completely secure. There are 3 types, so 3 levels of security.
The DV SSL certificate (Domain Validation)
The domain validated SSL certificate corresponds to the basic security level. It is aimed more particularly at those who wish to switch their website to HTTPS without providing too much information on their identity to the CA (Certification Authority) or mobilizing abundantly their cash. Entities wishing to benefit from it must prove to the CA that they have an exclusive right to use the domain name concerned.
To do this, they only have to click on the approval link appearing in the email sent by the Authority following the request. As soon as the HTTPS protocol is enabled, the secure site seal appears. However, no information about the identity of its companies appears in this seal.
The OV SSL certificate (Organization Validation)
The organization-validated SSL certificate offers intermediate security and allows its beneficiary to easily gain the trust of visitors. To generate it, the entities have to prove their identity to the CA. They also have to show that they are the sole owner of their domain name.
As long as their HTTPS protocol is operational, the display in their address bar is similar to that of the DV certification. The only difference is that the secure site seal also contains verified information about them.
The EV (Extended Validation) SSL certificate
The extended validation SSL certificate is the most secure of the 3, which is why it is popular with e-merchants and other sites wishing to secure banking transactions. In this case, the CA subjects companies that request it to verifications that are as thorough as they are meticulous.
Among other things, it will verify their operational, physical and legal existence, the accuracy and reliability of the information they have transmitted to it, as well as the exclusive right to use the domain name. After validating their request, the HTTPS protocol becomes active. It reveals a secure site seal that contains everything a visitor needs to quickly check their reliability.
Good reasons to have an SSL certificate on your website
The SSL certificate, whatever the type allows a website to comply with ever more stringent security requirements on the internet. As a result, it
- Makes life hard for hackers.
- Protects itself from any falsification of sensitive data.
- Strengthens the confidence of Internet users.
- Improves its SEO referencing.
Google favors secure sites in its results pages to the detriment of those that are not.
And since a site that has activated the HTTPS protocol guarantees trusted browsing for customers while positioning itself as a priority in the SERPs on certain requests, it thus becomes a real “traffic magnet” and can claim a better conversion rate.
To go further in terms of security, you can also purchase a code signing certificate. Thanks to the latter, companies that market applications and software can digitally sign their products. This helps them prove to buyers their legitimacy and the fact that they are not a virus.
This type of certificate also allows its beneficiary to sign and protect their e-mails, as well as their PDF documents. It can thus protect its reputation and seal a relationship of trust with its customers (current and potential).
How do I get an SSL certificate?
To benefit from a reliable SSL certificate and/or a code signing certificate, you should only contact a trusted CA that has already proven its worth and has the approval of an official body. If you have no idea of the kind of service provider you should go to, you can contact Sectigo or Digicert, two leaders in the digital certificate market.
After finding your CA, all you have to do is:
- Acquire your SSL certificate.
- Provide the Authority with all the required information.
- Automatically generate the CSR (Certificate Signing Request SSL).
- Install the certificate issued by the Authority.