What is an SSL certificate, and why do you need it?

When it comes to online activity, security comes first. An SSL certificate is a new security standard that uses powerful encryption to secure information. But what exactly is an SSL certificate, and how does it work?

SSL is an abbreviation for Secure Socket Layer, a protocol used to establish a secure connection. It guarantees that any data handled during an online session is protected. In addition, it creates an encrypted data communication channel, ensuring the data is only accessible to authorised users.

A website with an SSL certificate will have a URL that begins with https:// rather than http://, with the “s” denoting that the site is secure. Furthermore, the presence of the padlock icon next to the URL means all activities on your website, from visitor input to server responses, will employ a secure connection, preventing the theft and abuse of personal data.

Breaching an SSL-secured connection is nearly impossible due to the usage of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption. A public key is used to encrypt a message, and a private key is used to decode it when using symmetric encryption. On the other hand, asymmetric encryption employs only public keys for both methods.

How does an SSL certificate work?

First, a server will deliver a duplicate of its asymmetric public key. When the browser receives it, it will build a symmetric session key and encrypt it with the public key. The server will then decode the message using its private key. Data transmission is possible with the same symmetric session key. As its name implies, a session key is only good for one session, and a new session key will be generated for a subsequent request.

Does my website really need an SSL certificate?

If your website is only for personal use, you may overlook the significance of an SSL certificate. However, it is crucial for a website that expects many visitors. Protecting visitor data is critical, especially considering the GDPR legislation of the EU and the POPI Act in South Africa. For example, if you operate an online business and accept payments from customers, you must protect the data transmission process. No one will give their credit card details to an insecure website, which will impact your online business’ bottom line. Therefore, most eCommerce systems use SSL encryption.

SSL certificates must be activated on any websites that gather visitor information. Fortunately, a valid SSL certificate is not expensive and will put your visitors at ease while portraying your website as trustworthy and professional.

Advantages of an SSL certificate

Increased security: If you have an SSL-enabled website, it offers a more secure connection. During data transmission, all information is encrypted. This prevents hostile assaults from exploiting sensitive information.

Excellent for branding: Create a strong brand by establishing trust and credibility. Keep in mind that an SSL certificate offers a connection that protects your customers’ security. More clients will be willing to do business with you if you can guarantee risk-free transactions from beginning to end. In addition, a data breach would be disastrous for your company’s reputation.

Improved SEO ranking: Google has proclaimed HTTPS as one of its ranking determinants. As a result, installing an SSL certificate on your website might influence your ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). It is estimated that websites using SSL account for 50% of the first page results.

Increased traffic and sales: Customers are more likely to buy from you if they trust your website for a secure purchasing process until the last step. In addition, SSL certification allows you to store consumer data adequately.

Purchasing an SSL certificate

A Certified Authority (CA) is a reputable entity that handles public keys for data encryption and will issue an SSL certificate, ensuring that each website receives a one-of-a-kind certificate for authentication. However, SSL certificates are also available from some hosting companies like Hosting24.

Contact Hosting 24 for SSL certificate advice

Show your users your site is secure to visit and transact on by registering an SSL certificate through Hosting24 today. SSL certification is fast becoming the standard of secure websites and plays a significant part in how customers can find your website.

If you would like to know more about our comprehensive hosting packages that include SSL certificates or want us to register your site for SSL certification, please contact a representative from Hosting24 today. Alternatively, please continue to browse our website for details on our offers.

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