8 Things You Should Know Before Buying an SSL Certificate

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SSL is definitely a good idea. Here are the things to know before you migrate to HTTPS.

Whether you have an e-commerce platform or a company website or even a small blog, installing an SSL certificate has become obligatory in today’s times. As attackers keep sniffing around in hope of getting their hands on sensitive data, the browser community has cracked down stringently on unsecured non-SSL websites. Therefore, the need to install SSL is now greater than ever. We won’t bore you by telling you why you need SSL—you already know. Why else would you be here? Right? However, there are certain things that we feel you should know before buying an SSL certificate.

8 Things Before Buying SSL

Here they are:

1.      What SSL does

An SSL certificate protects the data transferred between a server and a client. That means that every piece of information transmitted back and forth is protected using Encryption. Such protection is of the utmost importance when it comes to sensitive information such as credit card details, banking details, passwords, etc. This thwarts attackers from executing man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks and data breaches. In layman’s terms, an SSL certificate is almost equivalent to an envelope seal.

2.      Not all SSL certificates are equal

Yes, you heard that right. SSL certificates are categorized into three main categories based on their attributes. These three types are – Domain Validation, Organization Validation, and Extended Validation.

Click here to learn about the different SSL types.

3.      Brand Name Matters!

Rule of thumb when buying an SSL certificate – buy only from reputed certificate authorities. What we mean by ‘reputed’ is the top certificate authorities in the world. This includes CAs such as Symantec, Comodo, GeoTrust, Thawte, RapidSSL, etc. These brands and their trust-seals are recognized by users around the world. Remember, encryption is only half of what an SSL certificate does. The other function is authentication—or providing trust. People are proven to gravitate towards names they recognize, which is what gives the Symantecs and Comodos of the world an edge.

4.      SSL is not a one-stop solution

Many people believe that once you install an SSL certificate, your site is secure. Well, as appealing as it sounds, that’s not true. SSL secures data in transit only. It doesn’t secure the information stored on your systems and servers. SSL is an important part of web security, but not all of it.

5.      Try before you buy

Certain certificate authorities offer a free trial period to their customers. For example, Comodo gives you a 90-days trial period to try their certificate on your website. If you’re confused which brand to go with, the trial periods can help you immensely.

6.      Encryption Level

We can’t stress enough about the significance the level of encryption holds. If you take credit card details, 128-bit is the minimum encryption level you need. The higher the number, the better it is for you.

7.      Multi-year option

Right now, the maximum period for which you can buy an SSL certificate is three years. You get a hefty discount if you opt for that option, too. So, selecting a multi-year option is pretty much a no-brainer.

8.      Additional features

If you’re confused between a few CAs, this can turn out to be a tie-breaker. Some SSL brands offer security elements along with an SSL certificate. Such tools can be of immense help for your website security.

We hope this helps you make a better choice!!!

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