Our website is our identity over the virtual world of internet. Ever since this concept has flourished, we have been paying attention to hedge our website with proper protection. And we all have been hearing about terms like SSL Certificate and many more. To this day, many of us have questions regarding this protection system. How many of us bear clear concept of what is the SSL Certificate? To protect your property, you have to know what your fence is made of. What your fence can withstand. Today, we are going to thoroughly explore what is the SSL certificate and how does it work in the virtual world of internet.
Secure Socket Layer Protocol Certificate is specifically termed as SSL Certificate. It was developed by Netscape. In simple term, it adds security factor to all the transactions web servers and browsers. It triggers a protocol to exercises an authority system.
It is used to identify transactions at either end. Don’t worry, every time things get too tech sounding, I will put it in the layman’s term. You see, for your website, SSL Certificate works like a passport. Or like a driver’s license. It is to be issued by a trusted concern of the allocated system. It is a Certificate Authority to identify transactions at both the ends or if it’s difficult to understand that way, in layman’s language SSL Certificate for a website is like a Passport or a Driver’s License that is issued by a trusted source widely known as Certificate Authority.
That is all about the theory of what is the SSL Certificate is down to the basic. Now to depict this basic understanding of the SSL Certification through a real-life relating example. Let’s say, I am sending a mail in an envelope via the regular postal system. Consider it has no security protection. Hence, practically anybody who can access my envelope can very easily manipulate the content. And if my mail had something valuable with it, our intruder can possess it. And my mail will never reach its destination. Just imagine if my mail had its personal security guard to help it reach its goal.
Now to put my long example in short, an SSL Certificate is like an agent that will encrypt the virtual transitions or transactions. Or any exchange of any form of data over the online. Ergo, leading my mail to its destination in proper security.
Let’s Look at What is The SSL Certificate and How It Operates:
First, a secure page is to be requested by the browser in the “https://” form. Then, a public key is to be sent by the web server along with the certificate. After these, our browser verifies the aforementioned certificate. Whether it is issued by any trusted source or not. If it is allied and is it valid or not. Upon verification of this certification, our browser then uses the public key. It encrypts an arbitrary symmetric encryption key then. After all these, it transmits all the data to the due server with an URL. This URL is encrypted. This one still needs to be along with another encrypted HTTP data.
Then a web server uses the private key to decrypt this symmetric key. After this, web server uses this same symmetric key and decrypts the URL thus the HTTP data. Then, web server encrypts and transmits the HTTP Data and HTML Documents with the symmetric key. In the end, our browser uses the symmetric key to decrypts these HTMP Document and HTTP Data and thus display the subjected Information.
I know all these technical mumbles are rather very difficult to have a grasp on. But this workflow was actually important to know the whole knowledge. We intend to offer the very clear understanding of this. To understand What is The SSL Certificate better we must at least know the brief about the Public key, Private key, Symmetric key, Algorithm of Encryption and only a few more. We will talk about each of these as we go through.
Now, let’s talk about various types of Secure Socket Layer Protocol Certificates:
There are actually many different kinds of SSL Certificates. And not all of them operates the same way. Especially when you are installing protection barrier for your website, knowing and picking the right kind is very important. Remember it is a security agent, thus it has the obvious two purposes.
Recognizing Threats to Your Website
This one is very important. Different types of SSL certificate serve the different purpose in this regards. Let’s look at our last classification. And, I promise there won’t be any tough technical classifications after this one.
Here is a list of all the common types of SSL Certificates with all their features,
1. Dedicated SSL Certification
This one is exactly what this sounds like. It is specifically assigned to the subjected domain name of your business or personal website. Now you have to own a unique domain, like for example, in.com or .co.bd to get a dedicated certificate with its features. Domain names prices vary due to its high or lesser high demand. And there are loads of online domain registrars available now. Just remember, dedicated SSL Certificates are not shared with any another domain name. Thus, they do not provide the due security protections for website’s any sub-domains other than the www. Dedicated SSL is among the expensive ones for its own good.
2. Shared SSL Certification
Shared SSL Certificates are a bit different from Dedicated SSL Certificates. Again, this is just like what its name sounds like, you get to share its total protection system.
Usually, the web hosts supply you the shared version certification protection to their customers. This version usually has a generic name for each one. For this, your domain would not be on display when such type of shared certification protection is applied. Many web hosts offer shared SSL certification for no charge.
With shared SSL Certification, you can actually attach one of your website to any of your friend’s shared certificate. Although this would also mean if and when a visitor would check your website’s security certification they will find a mismatch with the name of your domain. Yet, your subjected friend who purchased the shared certificate will enjoy his or her web details shown. Most of the browsers these days will usually show an error page warning to visitors and not to continue. The point here being, you have to set up a shared SSL certificate first before jump starting it. Shared certification has another point to require your attention. Once you set a shared certification you may never be able to change it.
3. Wildcard SSL certificates
When you want to protect your websites subdomains (e.g. blog.mysite.com) you need a wildcard SSL Certificate. A wildcard SSL Certificate ensures all the subdomains of your sites to operate securely. This version of security certification helps you to hedge unlimited numbers of subdomains with only one certificate.
4. Free SSL certificates
Yes, it is actually possible to avail free SSL Certificate. Keep it in mind that you only get what you are willing to pay for. Hence, a free SSL certificate will only cover you with the basics. It would not be secured as any paid versions. The main problem with free SSL is, it doesn’t have all the required encryption services or levels.
There is one another considerable thing. Check, recheck and be very careful about from where you avail the free one SSL Certification. Illegitimate one might only cause more harm than any good. There are many well reputable companies who are offering free certificates. Just make sure you do your research. Know what is the SSL certificate very well very first at the beginning. When you shop SSL certificate, best be clear about what kind of security protection your website will require.