Why is the SSL certificate important?

SSL certificate explained

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity.

Secure Sockets Layer is an information file that generates an encrypted connection browser-server cryptographically. Once they connect, the SSL certificate is validated. That is the way to achieve protected communication between them. So, as a result, only the user and the website could access the user’s info, such as email address, payment details, etc. 

Usually, users are able to recognize visually if a particular website has an SSL certificate. Therefore, there should be an additional “S” appearing after “HTTP.”

How does it work?

A user is visiting your website and connecting to it. In case you have installed an SSL certificate, your server will send it to the user’s device. Then the user’s browser will use the certificate’s public key and determine if it is authentic and produce a symmetric session key. The server, with its private key, can decrypt that symmetric session key. As a result, both parties trust each other. They can use the session key for any additional encryption and decryption. This process is also known as SSL Handshake.

Why is it important?

  • Verifies identity. Websites used for phishing are the way hackers could take advantage of your visitor. With an SSL certificate, the identity of your website is verified. To issue such type of certificate, you go through an official process and validate your identity. Now, your visitors can be sure that they are on a legit website.
  • Protects data. With the implemented encryption, the data transfer with the website is secure. If an attacker access the communication between the user and the server, he won’t be able to understand it. 
  • Protects money transfers. If you manage a business using sensitive data, such as IDs, credit card numbers, etc., the protection of your customers is a must. Hackers, taking your customers’ information can completely damage your company’s trustability and income. Therefore, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) counts it necessary for corporations to suggest powerful mechanisms for encrypting their information.
  • Reliability. Clients are more likely to trust your website if they know that they are protected. It makes a difference by increasing your traffic, success, and of course, sales.
  • Search engine ranking. The security interest is massive. So having or not an SSL certificate affects your visibility in the results.

SSL certificate types 

There are several types of SSL certificates out there. However, we can classify them into three main categories: 

  • DV (Domain validation). This is the most commonly used one. It serves to validate the owner of the domain. It checks the email applied for the registration of the domain. The CA is validating it, and the DV SSL certificate is ready. 
  • OV (Organization validation). In this case, the aim is to validate the organization. The CA is going to check if the organization exists for real. That usually happens by considering the name, address, phone number, and so on.
  • EV (Extended validation). This SSL certificate is on the highest level. Same as OV, the CA will examine the information about the company. It could ask for even more information and give the most reliable possible validation.

​Virtual private network (VPN) explained

The virtual private network (VPN) is like an invisible protective cloak that you put on, and the origin of your request gets hidden away. For those of you that this comparison is not enough, let us explain to you in detail what a virtual private network (VPN) is. 

​Virtual private network (VPN)

A Virtual private network (VPN) service creates a private network for your public internet connection. When you use a VPN, your data gets encrypted for additional security. That way, it can guarantee your privacy and anonymity. The VPN service will mask your IP address and show another of one of its servers. It is like a tunnel that hides you. Most services offer you multiple servers that you can use to hide behind them. 

​Why do you need a Virtual private network (VPN)? 

Do you want your communications to be safe, even if you are working from a coffee shop in the middle of nowhere on some beach? Yes, it will secure your communication even on a shady Wi-Fi connection. 

Encrypted communication. Make all of your communication safe with the VPN’s encryption. If a hacker gets data packets from you, they will be just a hash they could not read—a random line of letters, symbols, and numbers. 

You can use public internet access points (Wi-Fi of coffee shops, hotels, bus stations, airports, train stations, etc.). Whether it is for personal communication, work, or just browsing the web, your traffic will be protected if you are using a VPN. 

Online banking. On your mobile phone or computer, you most probably have a banking application. Use it only on a secure network. If your router is not safe enough and you are not using an encryption method for the communication, your data could be easily stolen. 

Don’t allow others to track you. Your Internet provider, different websites, and programs could track you and even find your location. If you mask your traffic, you can hide behind an IP address that is on another continent. The cool part is that even if a site or app remembers this IP address, you can change it again, and you can be harder to trace.  

Consume international content. You can change your location (server in use) and pretend to be in many different locations. That way, you can evade geo-limitation and watch TV, digital videos, access country-limited sites, and more. Enjoy a broader scope of entertainment for the price of a VPN service. 

​How can I get a VPN for my devices? 

VPN client for computers and smartphones. 

The software that you need to use is called VPN client. It could be a computer program or a smartphone application. Using this software, you will need to put your credential and use a 2FA if you have enabled it. 

Browser extension

Another option is to use VPN directly from your browser. Some browsers, like the Opera browser, has it pre-built, and you don’t need to search for an extension. It allows you to quickly change your location, just before you go to a specific site. 

Router with a VPN. 

When you want more than a few devices to use VPN, it might be easier to get a router with a VPN. That way, you can set up just one device, and all of the rest will use it directly without the need to install anything extra. 

​Conclusion

VPN is a simple, cheap, and easy-to-use solution that secures your communications. It has many benefits and protects you and your data. Use it! It is worth a few dollars per month.