If you don't already know, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and protects your privacy when you surf the internet. Especially when you're entering sensitive data. So, if you’re shopping online, an SSL certificate is designed to protect you from hackers getting your credit card number as you’re entering your payment information. SSL certificates do this in a matter of milliseconds in a process that’s sometimes referred to as an SSL handshake.
The process consists of a browser asking for a site to identify itself only for the site to send back a copy of the SSL certificate. After confirming that the site is trustworthy, only then can the server start sharing encrypted data with the website. To check if a website has an SSL certificate and will therefore protect your sensitive data, just check the URL for “HTTPS” at the start of the link. For sites that don’t have an SSL certificate, you’ll see a red padlock symbol or a warning triangle, signaling that this site isn’t safe for you to use.
Different Types of SSL Certificates
- Extended validation (EV SSL) certificates: the most secure, but also the most expensive certificate typically reserved for high-profile websites that collect data and payment information.
- Organization validation (OV SSL) certificates: similar to EV SSL certificates, but cheaper and less secure. These are generally used for commercial or public-facing websites to ensure customer information will remain confidential.
- Domain validation (DV SSL) certificates: the cheapest certificate choice with minimal encryption, which results in a simplified validation process. Despite its low-security assurance, they’re still used largely for blogs and information sites, which don’t require users’ private information.
How to Get an SSL Certificate
Most web hosting services offer SSL certificates in addition to their web hosting, much like PSPINC. We offer all three types of SSL certificates and make them available for purchase in addition to our web hosting or our VPS plans on our website.
For more informational videos, check out our "What Is" series on our YouTube channel.
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