SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL is a technology that enables browsers and servers to transmit and receive data securely in an encrypted connection called HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). To enable SSL on a website, you will need to get an SSL Certificate installed on your web server. SSL certificates themselves are small data files that digitally identify your company, organization, and web page. When a web browser visits a website using an SSL certificate, it usually displays a padlock icon but it may also display a green address bar. You can obtain an SSL digital certificate from an SSL certificate provider.
SSL certification provides three basic functions:
Choosing an SSL certification for your site depends on the type of website you have, as well as the level of security that you require. Generally speaking, there are three categories of SSL certificate options from which you can choose:
Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
Domain Validated Certificates are the most basic type of trusted SSL digital certificate. They have the lowest level of security of all SSL certificate types. You can obtain a DV certificate within minutes from a certificate provider. All you need to do is to verify that you own a domain to a DV certificate vendor, and they will issue you a DV certificate.
This type of SSL is suitable for websites that do not require their visitors to provide or exchange any personal details. Bloggers and small website owners generally use DV SSL.
Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
For someone who doesn’t know the difference, an OV certificate can be mistaken for a DV certificate. To obtain an OV certificate, you need to verify your domain and your organization with the certificate-issuing authority. OV certificates are more expensive to acquire, and they are perfect for business owners who do not require their customers to provide sensitive personal information on their website.
Extended Validated (EV) Certificates
EV certificates provide the highest level of security and trust to your website. EV certificates are the most expensive to acquire. To get one, you will need to verify your domain and provide personal and organizational information to your certificate-issuing authority. When you have this type of SSL, Google Chrome displays a green padlock on your website, informing your visitors that they are dealing with a highly trusted site.
A certificate authority is an entity that issues digital certificates to organizations or people after validating them. Certification authorities have to keep detailed records of what has been issued and the information used to issue it, and are audited regularly to make sure that they are following defined procedures. Every certification authority provides a Certification Practice Statement (CPS) that defines the procedures that will be used to verify applications. There are many commercial CAs that charge for their services. Institutions and governments may have their own CAs, and there are also free Certificate Authorities.
Every certificate authority has different products, prices, SSL certificate features, and levels of customer satisfaction.
Namecheap is a popular vendor that sells SSL certificates. Their basic SSL package starts from $5.88 per year.
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