SSL — or Secure Sockets Layer — is the commonly used term for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) standard. SSL certificates are used to securely transmit communications between a website, host, or server and the end users that are connecting to it (or between two machines in a client-server relationship). SSL certificates confirms the identity of the domain name that is operating the web site, and enables encryption of all information between the server and the visitor to ensure the integrity of all the transmitted information. Popular browsers make it possible for users to ensure they are on SSL-enabled sites through a variety of interface mechanisms, including the padlock icon, HTTPS in the address, and the color green.
All SSL certificates must be issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) with roots that are trusted by client operating systems and browsers. By regulation, CAs must follow a codified, minimum vetting process before issuing SSL certificates.
Choosing Between a DV, OV, or EV Certificate
Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates
This is the most basic level of SSL validation. The Certification Authority (CA) only ensures that you are the owner of a specific domain using the information contained in the WHOIS. Naturally, this type of certificate enables secure data encryption on your site, but it does not verify that you are the owner of a legitimate business. It is legitimate, and, most importantly, it is a very quick solution to protect your site using HTTPS. Customers seeing the padlock in your browser will have more trust in your site than before, because the padlock is a recognised sign of legitimacy.
A DV certificate is fine where security is not a concern: however, attackers can also use DV-certificates on phishing sites. Unsuspecting users see the trusted pad lock and enter their personal data on the site which can then fall into the hands of fraudsters. The fact that the data channel is secured does not necessarily mean that the data will go to the right people. A user needs to be sure that the site belongs to a legitimate company if they are to make a purchase or input important information.
Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates
OV certificates provide the same level of protection as DV certificates but go one step further than simply requiring proof of domain ownership. With an OV certificate, the issuing Certificate Authority confirms the business associated with the domain name is registered and legitimate by checking details such as the business name, location, address, and incorporation or registration information. This makes the OV certificate a more suitable option for public-facing websites that represent companies or organizations.
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates
EV certificates provide the highest level of trust by assuring consumers that they are conducting business through a trusted website. For this reason, these certificates have become the industry standard for eCommerce websites. EV SSL certificates trigger high-security web browsers to display a green address bar that includes the name of the company or organization that owns the domain. They also show the name of the issuing Certificate Authority.
Confirmation of the website’s identity, and validation of the organization, is carried out according to the rigorous industry guidelines established by the CA/Browser Forum and involves a strict vetting process that is shown to be effective over the course of more than ten years of real-world use. EV SSL certificates are essential for large businesses or e-commerce sites as they can enhance credibility by showing discerning consumers that a prospective transaction is with a legitimate recipient and that the site is serious about protecting the data of its customers.
SSL Certificate Solutions
Trust is everything in the world of online business. Investment in technology to protect customers and earn their trust is a critical success factor for any company that does business online or hosts an e-commerce website. The effective implementation of TLS/SSL certificates is a proven tool to help establish customer trust.
Single Domain SSL Certificates
The standard SSL certificate, single-domain certificates are the most cost-effective solution for securing a business’s internal servers and consumer-facing pages.
Wildcard SSL Certificates
Wildcard SSL certificates allow companies to secure their main domains and unlimited subdomains under a single certificate. Cost effective and efficient, the wildcard SSL certificate makes it easy to maintain a website’s security without the hassle of managing multiple SSL certificates. Wildcards also provide the most flexibility, as additional subdomains can be added without requiring a new certificate to be issued.
Multi-Domain SSL Certificates
Multi-domain certificates use Subject Alternate Names (SANs) to secure up to 100 distinct domain names or IP addresses each. They are a great solution for managing complex environments with a single SSL certificate.
Code Signing Certificates
The last thing you need after investing hundreds of hours into developing code is for it to be intercepted and maliciously modified, destroying user trust and your reputation. Hackers love to get their malware on users’ machines by hiding it in legitimate software programs that people already know and trust. Using code signing certificates assures your customers that they’re installing the authentic, unaltered version of your software. Plus, it removes the “unknown publisher” warning message, making the installation process faster and easier.
How to Purchase a SSL Certificate
SSL Certificates for Shared Hosting Accounts
WebWolf Hosting clients can purchase SSL Certificates directly from their cPanel hosting control panel. We have partnered with cPanel and Sectigo, formerly known as Comodo to bring you SSL Certificates at discounted prices. To purchase a SSL Certificate, simply login to cPanel and browse to the SSL/TLS Wizard and follow the prompts. If you uncertain and need assistance, please login to your Client Control Panel, and submit a support request.