What You Need to Know About SSL Certificate Management
As it currently stands, there is a wide variety of tools and software available for digital security purposes on the internet today. The tools you use depend on the type of digital real estate you are trying to secure. For websites, one of the most popular and most necessary is an SSL certificate. This is the tool that changes the protocol of your website from HTTP to HTTPS, indicating to all your website visitors that your website is secured and safe to visit.
There’s really not much to know about getting an SSL certificate for your website, as most web hosting platforms provide it alongside their web hosting plans. However, here are the answers to some common FAQs on buying an SSL certificate.
1. What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate is a data file installed on a web server that sets up a secure link between the server and client browsers. They ensure that information is not captured by third parties, and they verify the identity of the website. Think of it as a screen between the server hosting your website and the client browsers trying to access it. For you, it screens all incoming traffic and neutralizes any incoming traffic with malicious intent. For your website visitors, it verifies that your website is safe to use.
2. Do I need an SSL certificate?
Yes, you do. SSL certificates tell the browser (and the site visitor) that your website is trustworthy, and that sensitive information entered onto your site remains confidential. This is extremely important, especially when carrying out bank transactions, or paying for items online. Web browsers nowadays notify users when the website they are trying to visit does not have an SSL certificate, meaning it might not be safe. For someone who was planning to enter personal information on your website, that is an immediate red flag.
3. Where do I get an SSL certificate?
Many web hosting services such as WordPress and Namecheap offer SSL certificates as part of their hosting packages, so most times you get it as a package deal with your hosting plan. If you are hosting your site on your own servers, or you need a better provider, look for an SSL certificate manager to help you stay up-to-date with your website security at all times.
4. How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost?
That depends on your provider. SSL certificates might be bundled in your hosting plan. If they aren’t, consider checking out whatever options your web hosting service provides. If you have to buy your own certificate, shop around for affordable prices and good value deals with additional management deals.
5. Do SSL Certificates Expire?
Yes, they do.
SSL certificates have a maximum validity period of 825 days (or about two years). Modern browsers always check the validity of your site’s SSL certificate, so it is important to renew your certificate when it expires. This might involve a lot of hassle, which is another reason you need a digital security management platform.
Moving Ahead With Website Security
Every day, as the internet becomes denser, we get more news of data breaches and cyber-attacks. People are getting more scared of putting their personal and professional data online. In this sort of atmosphere, it is necessary as a website owner to provide a visible means of security for users visiting your website. SSL certificates do this for you. While it is not the ultimate means of website security, having an SSL certificate is a good first step to truly securing your website.
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