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SSL Certificate And How To Get One

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Google Chrome SSL Security Update

In July 2018, google chrome came up with a new security update for website owners. The update was made to ensure that users are aware of the how secure they are while on a specific site.

Basically, this policy requires website owners to install SSL certificates on their websites which is a security measure as we will discuss in a moment in this article. Site owners who do not install SSL certificates on their sites are likely to suffer since their visitors will be notified that they are browsing an insecure site.

If you are running an e-commerce website, you are most likely never going to get any customers at all. And if you have an informational site, then the bounce rate of visitors is likely to be high.

The difference between a secure site that has SSL certificate installed is that such a site will have HTTPS while the later will only have HTTP. The “S” in HTTPS stands for secure. Let’s head over to the next bit of our discussion and understand what is HTTPS and SSL.

What is HTTPS and SSL

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is an encryption certificate that secures the communication between the server and your web visitors through encryption. To implement SSL on your website, you will need to have it installed on your website.

Once installed, your website address will change from HTTP:// to HTTPS:// where the S stands for secure.

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As you can see from the image above the site that you are on is seccure as it has the HTTPS:// in its address and it also has the padlock which is another symbol of a secure website.

The SSL mechanism can be broken into five simple steps as elaborated bellow:

  1. Browser connects to a web server (website) secured with SSL (https). Browser requests that the server identify itself.
  2. Server sends a copy of its SSL Certificate, including the server’s public key.
  3. Browser checks the certificate root against a list of trusted CAs and that the certificate is unexpired, unrevoked, and that its common name is valid for the website that it is connecting to. If the browser trusts the certificate, it creates, encrypts, and sends back a symmetric session key using the server’s public key.
  4. Server decrypts the symmetric session key using its private key and sends back an acknowledgement encrypted with the session key to start the encrypted session.
  5. Server and Browser now encrypt all transmitted data with the session key.

I have tried to make it as simple as possible to understand especially if you are new to the topic. No lets have a look at the importance of SSL certificates.

Advantages of SSL certificates

SSL is a very important tool in todays running of a website. It comes as a symbol of trust to your visitors and they are more likely to purchase items from your site if for instance you run an online shop.

Additionally, SSL certificate tells google and other search engines that your site is secure and guess what? This helps you rank higher than those sites that do not have an SSL secured connection.

Apart from boosting and adding trust to your online business, SSL certificates also helps a great deal in ensuring that your visitors are secure. As a website owner, it is your duty to ensure that people who visit your site are not vulnerable to any kind of threat. With SSL employed, you can be rest assured that your visitor’s security I well catered for.

As we have discussed earlier, SSL is an encryption tool and this makes it tag along all the benefits of encryption within a communication network.

Benefits of Encryption include:

  1. Encryption Provides Security for Data at All Times: Data is usually most vulnerable when it is being transmitted from one party to another. Encryption plays its role of safety assurance as data is being moved from party A to party B or when the data is stored. Encryption should be standard for all data stored at all times, regardless of whether or not it is deemed “important”.
  2. Encrypted Data Maintains Integrity: Hackers don’t just steal information, they also can benefit from altering data to commit fraud. While it is possible for skilled individuals to alter encrypted data, recipients of the data will be able to detect the corruption, which allows for a quick response to the cyber-attack.
  3. Encryption Protects Privacy: Encryption is used to protect sensitive data, including personal information for individuals. This helps to ensure anonymity and privacy, reducing opportunities for surveillance by both criminals and government agencies. Encryption technology is so powerful that some governments are attempting to put limits on the effectiveness of encryption—which does not ensure privacy for companies or individuals.
  4. Encryption is Part of Compliance: Many industries have strict compliance requirements to help protect those whose personal information is stored by organizations. Regulations rely on security methods such as encryption to protect data, and businesses can use encryption to achieve comprehensive security. Additionally, it is part of Google and other search engines compliance that each site should have an SSL cert.
  5. Encryption Protects Data across Devices:Multiple (and mobile) devices are a big part of our lives, and transferring data from device to device is a risky proposition. Encryption technology can help protect store data across all devices, even during transfer. Additional security measures like advanced authentication help in keeping off unauthorized users.

Disadvantages of SSL Certificates

SSL certificates are good. In fact, they are awesome. But that does not mean that they have no setbacks. Definitely everything has its own setback no matter how minimal.

The first and obvious con is that they have an impact on performance. With the forth and back communication and performing the encryption and decryption during communication it eats up a lot of server resources especially for heavy traffic sites. However, this can be countered by upgrading hardware.

Number two, SSL certificates are costly. It will cost you money to purchase an SSL certificate and have it installed on your site. Most of the companies that sell SSL certificates range from $8-$100 depending on the type.

Of course, the advantages of having an SSL certificate on your website definitely outweighs the disadvantages of not having an SSL certificate.

But wait, the issue on price can as well be sorted as well as performance making SSL certificate have zero cons on your website.

How? Well this is how. First and foremost, you definitely must have heard about HostGator. For starters, they are a web hosting company.

Their relevance in this article is that they give you an SSL certificate at zero costs on top of the hosting package that you purchase from them.

FOR FREE! You get to have an SSL certificate not for one month, not for one year but for life.

How to activate SSL on your HostGator website

Once you have purchased an SSL certificate from HostGator, take your time and read their support guide on how to install the certificate from the link below.

Read this step by step guide on how to install Free SSL from HostGator

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