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SSL Certificates Overview

Estimated reading time: 2 min

What is a SSL Certificate?

In this section, we will give a basic overview about what SSL certificates are. SSL stand for Secure Socket Layer, and it is a protocol that does two main things.

  1. It encrypts all data sent between your visitors and the server helping to prevent 3rd party assailants from seeing the data as it moves over the internet.
  2. It “certifies” your website telling your visitors browsers that this site is indeed the correct site and not some phishing site trying to take their information.

Now, you may be asking what the difference is between HTTPs and SSL, and the answer is… none! When you see HTTPs, it is telling you that the site is secured with a SSL certificate.

Why do I need a SSL?

For most websites you won’t need an SSL certificate. However if you work with any type of sensitive information (credit card details, medical records, or if you just want to secure your site’s login), it is highly recommended that you have a SSL certificate to help keep that information secure. In fact in some situations (mostly when dealing with credit card details or medical records), you are required to have some form of SSL certificate.

Depending on the purpose of your website, you may need to contact your credit card merchant or review HIPAA guidelines to find out if one is needed.

How do they work?

At its basic, it encrypts all data sent between the server and the user using a private and public key. The server holds the private key and sends out the public key to be used by the client when encrypting traffic sent from their computer. At the same time, the browser generates a public and private key and sends the public key back to the server so the server has a method of encrypting traffic.

PositiveSSL – $39.96/year

A PositiveSSL certificate is a great general certificate for times when general visitors will be visiting a secure section of your site such as their shopping cart or a login page where they would be providing sensitive information. PositiveSSL certificates are also domain name specific so, they can only secure 1 specific domain name such as “www.example.com” or “cart.example.com”. Some of the features included with a PositiveSSL are as follows:

  • Cost-effective SSL certificate with easy validation
  • Domain validation
  • 256-bit encryption
  • 99.9% browser compatibility
  • $10,000 relying party warranty
  • Unlimited re-issuance policy
  • Site Seal included

PositiveSSL Wildcard – $99.96/year 

A wildcard SSL certificate is one you would use if you needed to provide a secure connection to all areas of your site over multiple subdomains such as “www.example.com”, “cart.example.com”, and “login.example.com”. Using a Wildcard SSL certificate, will provide you with the ability to have a validated secure connection over all subdomains on your site. Some of the features included with a PositiveSSL Wildcard SSL certificate are as follows:

  • Cost-effective, securing multiple subdomains with one certificate
  • Domain validation
  • 99.9% browser compatibility
  • $10,000 relying party warranty
  • Unlimited re-issuance policy
  • Site Seal included How do I get one?

How do I get one?

While we do allow SSL certificates provided by other issuers, we also provide the ability to purchases SSL certificates directly through your lab.

That’s a wrap!

We hope this article has been enlightening and that we have shed some light on how SSL certificates help make the internet a more secure place. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to open a ticket with our support team by visiting the support tab in your lab or by emailing us directly at help@chemicloud.com.

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