What Are SSL Certificates & Why Do You Need Them?

What Are SSL Certificates & Why Do You Need Them?Migrating to HTTPS is a unwritten requirement when you optimize your site. Google favors encrypted domains, and the secure page encourages visits. How exactly does the ssl certificate affect positioning? Does it cost? Is it obligatory? Today we describe the most important aspects of SSL certification.

You have certainly noticed that each page address in the address bar (URL) is preceded by the shortcut http or https. These are different protocols that inform about the way in which data is transferred between the user’s computer and the server (ie it is a way of data transmission).

Hitherto the most common one was http, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, but for some time now more and more website addresses have been preceded by the abbreviation https: // and the symbol of the green padlock. This is the example of the URL of the largest stores and websites, as well as Google itself.

What does it mean? HTTPS is simply “secured” http, i.e. http-secure. This protocol ensures the integrity of data transmission and prevents manipulation by undesirable persons. The technology that secures the transfer of data from the website to the server is ssl (Secure Socket Layer). It does this mainly through encryption and public key infrastructure mechanisms. It is important to know what it is, whether it is necessary and how its use affects the optimization of the site.

HOW AN SSL CERTIFICATE AFFECTS POSITIONING

Data encryption is important in the context of page optimization. The SSL implementation confirms the credibility of the domain and the fact of protecting our personal and other data, such as, for example, passwords and logins. In addition, the ssl certificate allows you to automate the issue of proper processing of personal data in the light of the provisions of the GDPR. Currently many domains require the user to leave / send different types of personal data, for example contact details, e-mail address and even credit card number. Becoming the administrators of this data, we must ensure that they are properly processed and transmitted and protected against leakage.

The main task of SSL technology is to protect Internet users against:

  • data deletion and / or falsification,
  • theft of passwords, card numbers, account numbers and the use of them,
  • digital crime,
  • theft of login data,
  • phishing (online scams).

IS IT WILL NEED TO OBTAIN ANY SSL CERTIFICATE?

No SSL certificate does not send the site in non-existence, so theoretically it is not mandatory. Slowly, however, it becomes an unwritten requirement and a necessary change to be made on the site. You can find the migration guide from http to https in this Google guide: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6073543. The use of an SSL certificate is required by more and more web browsers, including the popular Google Chrome group. Already in Google 2014 announced that sites using the secure protocol https will be evaluated by the algorithm above, and those with http – will be marked as dangerous. In fact, since July 2018, Chrome version 68 means unsecured websites as compromising the security of user data. We wrote about it on our blog.

This fact can seriously weaken traffic on the website, and in the case of positioning, less traffic on the website is almost a certain decrease in the position. To go further to the “dangerous” site, the user must curse permission to take the risk. This message blocking the loading of the page is a disincentive to users to visit it. And this already causes a real loss of potential customers for our services or goods in the online store.

ESSENTIAL SSL VALIDATION TYPES:

The process of implementing an SSL certificate initiates the owner of the domain, but it can only be issued by entities independent of it, so-called Certification Authorities. There are three main types of verification: OV, DV and EV. They are a canon offered by all companies:

DV (Domain Validation) – this is the cheapest and the simplest form of security, which will be sufficient for ordinary sites that do not process a large amount of sensitive data. It is aimed mainly at the interest of the domain owner himself, i.e. protecting his own data, documents, photos, etc. sent to the server.

OV (Organization Validation) – is an intermediate type of security that, like DV, provides encryption of transmitted information in a designated domain. The difference is that the verification is not only subject to the domain itself, but also the company that owns it. Here, the user is clearly informed which company belongs to and which organization is responsible for its level of protection. In addition, OV validation confirms the authenticity of the company’s existence.

EV (Extended Validation) – this is the most advanced encryption used by institutions such as banks, government institutions, social networks, booking services, etc., that is, those that collect, for example, identity cards or credit cards. It contains all the necessary confirmation of the authenticity of the company’s data, which is marked in the address bar (green string).

SSL CERTIFICATION – FREE OR PAYABLE?

Free certificates are a good way to start, but only for a small domain or blog. Certificates of this type are only DV validation, and are issued for a short period (e.g. 3 months). In order to receive such a certificate, it is not necessary to send in principle any documents confirming the existence of the company that owns the site.

In the case of online stores and websites that use sensitive personal data, the possession of a higher-order SSL certificate is obligatory. There is no mercy here – you should buy an OV certificate, preferably an EV certificate. As the process of transition to the https protocol is implemented, the implementation of SSL technology services is offered by more and more companies, mainly hosting companies.

The price depends on the period of validation, the certification body and the type of certificate. Is it worth investing in a good certificate? In my opinion, yes.

Picture Credit: skylarvision

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